Leave it to NOFX to keep it unique for their fans. This time around the 25 year punk rock veterans have released a five song EP titled Cokie The Clown. The uniqueness of this EP is that four of the songs were choice cut tracks for their most recent full length release that the band chose to take off Coaster and release at a later time. Like a chaser swig of beer to a strong shot, Cokie The Clown follows Coaster perfectly giving the fans just a little bit more NOFX zing to tie them over until the next round.
The cover of the EP shows Cokie The Clown, rather a scary looking Fat Mike clown portrait that makes Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT look harmless. On the back of the EP is a circus flier comically showcasing the band as entertainers of the mediocre show. The EP contains four unreleased tracks and an acoustic version of one song that appeared on Coaster.
Opening track “Cokie The Clown” incorporates anti-sobriety with full on abuse in a first person sung song about said clown and his shenanigans with Eric Melvin providing introduction. I cracked up upon hearing the clown asking to be watched while juggling “eight balls” as well as the line “I will trip you down those 12 giant steps” knowing exactly which steps he referred to.
“Straight Outta Massachusetts” resembled something that Matt Stone or Trey Parker of South Park fame might have written for a musical. Still catchy and fun the song told the story of a rowdy 5 year old (who later grows up to be Fat Mike I am assuming) shun by his father from the east coast to the west coast to be with his mother. The song originally appeared on an episode of Pancake Mountain featuring Fat Mike and his adorable daughter.
“Fermented And Flailing” and “Codependence Day” both kept with the fats riffs and ever so candid lyrics speaking of the pros and cons about alcoholism. Just like most NOFX songs the lyrics are to the point about their opinion but also well formulated.
Unquestionably the most depressing song of the year “My Orphan Year” that already choked me up on Coaster got even sadder thanks to Fat Mike picking up an acoustic guitar and slowing things down all by himself. The true story formulated into song about Fat Mike losing his folks in 2006 seriously will bring tears to eyes of many (including myself). Let it be know, even rampant punk rockers have feelings too.
On a more fun note, Fat Mike dressed up and played the part of Cokie The Clown at the Riot Fest in Chicago recently and pulled a not so typical prank involving a plastic flower and some white stuff. The result was about as hilarious as the EP is (minus the last song of course).