Monday, May 12, 2014

NOFX - "Pods and Gods" 7"

NOFX – “Pods and Gods” 7”
Fat Wreck Chords, 2000
Acquired: Fat Wreck Chords Mail Order, 2003
Price: $4
“Climb aboard the spaceship of nostalgia and explore the Cosmos of your 16-year old self.” I often think of my musical tastes in a Darwinian sense. When I was a little kid, I just listened to whatever my parents listened to but somewhere around 12 or so I got REALLY into oldies. It made me a primitive music lover and laid the groundwork for my affinity for hooks and catchy tunes. From there I retreated into the pond scum of nu metal only to emerge a couple years later in the blissful world of pop punk. I was pulled from the goo by Blink-182 and went from there. And then onto hardcore, and then onward and outward from there.

Pop Punk is routinely dismissed by many capital S Serious music aficionados but I never really stopped loving it. There’s something so delicious about that brattiness and the fun that is undeniably enjoyable. NOFX had a huge effect on me when I was 16. Their 18-minute long screed against modern America, The Decline, helped to shape my nascent political views in the brand new post-911 world. That coupled with a healthy dose of Jello Biafra spoken word caused the American Flag patch sewn to my hoodie to flip itself upside down. It’s all very dramatic, and kind of lame, but that’s how it really happened. It’s funny when people act like they’re born with good taste or sound political values, and it’s comforting to know that everyone was a dumb little asshole at some point.

ANYWAY, NOFX are old dudes now and they’re still acting like teenagers, which is wonderful. “Pods and Gods” is one of NOFX’s myriad excellent B-sides. It’s a solid, goofy jam that packs in a sneaky critique of religion that made my recovering Catholic teenage self do a little dance. “It’s not that I don’t believe in Jesus Christ/ It’s just I really don’t care,” Fat Mike sings. Totally. I ID. B-side “What’s the Matter With Parents Today” was one of my favorite tracks from Pump Up the Valuum. It chronicles the perils of a young person with frustratingly hip parents. “It’s absurd, you’re singing every word/ You’re not supposed to like my band/ Things I like you don’t understand!” It’s goofball rock, but the tune is catchy and well-written enough to avoid joke rock territory. Are NOFX joke rock? Who knows! And frankly, who cares if the group’s promotion of social justice and left wing politics converts some young idiots trapped in the pond scum.

"Pods and Gods"

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