I'm a judgemental guy. I think most people are. Judgemental, I mean. I don't mean that most people are guys. That's ridiculous. I've gotten very side-tracked. I'm gonna start over.
I'm a judgemental guy. Certainly more so in my teen years than I am now. It's probably part of human nature. The smaller your world, the smaller your tolerance. So, when I was a kid in high school, I had very confined ideas about what kind of music was Good and what kind of music was Crap. Most of the music in the world fell into the Crap category while Progressive Rock was in the Good category (ridiculous, I know).
After high school, I've traveled a lot and I've met all kinds of people and I've listened to their music and the thing I've learned is that almost everything is actually in the Good category. For me to have dismissed entire genres in the past - frequently based upon nothing more than not liking someone who I knew was a fan of the band in question - is a conceit that I'm embarrassed to admit I once had.
And so it is that a week ago, my brother burns for me a compilation CD (he called it a mix tape. I ask if that meant we were now dating) of stuff by the band NOFX.
And god damn, it's good.
Tight harmonies, great chord changes, moving and inspiring lyrics. One of my main concerns with punk has been a general disappointment with the vocals. And I fully realize that being disappointed with the level of musicianship in a punk band means that I don't really get punk on a fundamental level. But, nevertheless, I've found the vocals of many punk bands I've heard to be the thing stopping me from being able to really enjoy the material. The Bouncing Souls, for example. I really dig the melodies. I just wish that Greg could sing them. And the Violent Femmes. ::shudder::
NOFX is not in that same category, though. Their vocals are great. Their drumming is great. Guitar and bass work is great. They're just really good musicians, despite whatever self-effacing quips to the contrary that they might make during their live shows.
Favorite lyrics so far are from the song "Idiots Are Taking Over":
darwin's rollin over in his coffin
the fittest are surviving much less often
now everything seems to be reversing, and it's worsening
someone flopped a steamer in the gene pool
now angry mob mentality's no longer the exception, it's the rule
and im startin to feel a lot like charlton heston
I guess this is just a really long-winded way of saying "Hey, Ry. Thanks for the CD." and that NOFX is totally worth checking out if you've never heard them before. It's good stuff. Find some of their stuff on iTunes. Or, you know, feel free to stop by my car if you want to hear my mix tape.