POZ Review: NOFX - Stoke Extinguisher!
by Zac Lomas, edited by Erik van Rheenen
Coming off the wave of excitement resulting in 2012’s Self-Entitled, legendary punk rockers NOFX spent the majority of 2013 recharging their batteries, playing a handful of one-off festival dates while promoting a slew of Fat Wreck releases that all made splashes of their own. Now, as 2013 peters out and 2014 looms large on the horizon, Fat Mike and company pull one last trick from up their sleeve with their latest EP/single Stoke Extinguisher.
Depending on whether one purchases the vinyl or CD version of Stoke Extinguisher, one either receivesa two-track vinyl single or a seven-song CD EP loaded with re-released singles and Christmas tunes. The main crux of this release lies in its title track, “Stoke Extinguisher,” which is the only song on the record that is actually new.
“Stoke Extinguisher” is a prime example of the old Harlan Howard adage that all a musician truly needs to write a great song is “three chords and the truth.” And while one’s political leaning might alter whether or not NOFX truly espouse “the truth,” it’s certainly hard to deny their mastery of the three chords part of that saying. The song finds its way nicely into the NOFX skate punk style, but with an added edge of vitriol coming not only from Fat Mike’s notably rougher vocals, but also the menacingly dark chord structure of both El Hefe and Eric Melvin.
On the flip side of the record is “The Shortest Pier,” a cover adopted from the recently released Tony Sly benefit album, for all the NOFX fans out there that didn’t get to hear the band’s adaptation of Sly’s work. For those with the CD version of Stoke Extinguisher,this is where the Los Angeles quartet stuff your stocking with two singles from the past couple years and two songs directly off of Xmas Has Been X-ed.