Some friends were over at my house a few weeks ago. One flipped through my CD collection and was surprised to find that a middle-aged man was still listening to The Minutemen, Iggy and the Stooges, MC5, and DK. “Geez, Larry,” she said, “haven’t you outgrown all this stuff yet?” Call me a stunted adolescent, but I find much more truth on these albums than I have in any presidential speech over the last sixty years, and that’s my first priority in choosing music.
The album my friend didn’t notice was the NOFX Never Trust A Hippy CDEP, a slightly lackluster but nonetheless witty sampler of the upcoming full-length Wolves in Wolves Clothing. Fat Mike, Bill, and Jason go after religion mostly, and politics a little, with the pre-requisite songs about drinking and getting drunk. It’s not an EP for NOFX or punk purists - anyone familiar with the band knows they are but a ghost of themselves musically and that Fat Mike can get awfully sloppy with his lyrics, at times sounding like a bad Dead Milkmen tribute band.
But Never Trust A Hippy is fun, especially “Seeing Double At the Triple Rock,” a cover of the Darby Crash and Pat Smear song “Golden Boys,” and “I’m Going to Hell for This One.” What makes this EP just slightly above par is, however, the outstanding, anti-everything “You’re Wrong,” which could almost be an anthem played for a convention of misanthropes. Admittedly, I didn’t bust out laughing the first time I heard this album, but it did keep me in a pretty good mood while I thrashed away at George W. Bush in an op/ed piece. And that’s all this EP really is: a dose of wiseass adrenaline to keep you moving through the day.
If I had my druthers, we’d have a lot more serious punk right now, like we did during the Reagan administration. But with so much emphasis on cheesy puffs like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Avril LaVigne, it’s doubtful that original punk would find enough of a niche market any more to make it worth its while. So for the moment, I’m contented with bopping around my house a bit to the less edgy, more accessible NOFX until someone in the music industry gets fed up enough to release real punk again.