NOFX – The War On Errorism

My decision to review The War On Errorism by NOFX came on suddenly and unexpectedly; I was browsing through records in a store I hadn’t been to before and for the first time since I’ve been collecting vinyl I came across The War On Errorism; I couldn’t help but buy it. The War On Errorism, and more specifically the song Franco Un-American is what got me into punk rock as a 13 year old in 2005, my brother introduced me to Franco Un-American and I instantly loved it. It took a few years before I properly got into punk music, but this was certainly the first song, and The War On Errorism was the album that completed the transition. So, after listening to my new purchase for the first time and reminiscing I thought it would be interesting to have a more critical look at the album now I’m older, wiser and more jaded; there’s no denying that at some stage in my life I thought this was the greatest thing I’d ever heard, but I wasn’t sure I still thought this 10 years down the track.

Lets start with the album artwork, a US flag based background with broken & uneven red lines and stars that are more reminiscent of the night sky than the stars on the US flag. Overlaid over this background is ransom-note-esque text that reads “The War On Errorism” and a cartoon George W. Bush with clown make up; brilliant. I feel like a 15 year old kid these days probably wouldn’t see the brilliance in this album artwork, but it could be valid for another generation before we need to start explaining who George W. Bush is, and what “The War On Errorism” means. Beyond the artwork, there is some substance to the album; a healthy 14 songs and modest 37 minutes means almost all songs come in under 3 minutes, and makes for quality short, fast and loud punk rock.

The album starts incredibly strongly with what are, in my opinion, the three best songs on the album: The Separation of Church and Skate; The Irrationality of Rationality; and Franco Un-American. After a brief 20 second introduction The Separation of Church and Skate kicks the album off in classic NOFX style with fast loud punk rock. The lyrics to The Irrationality of Rationality marked the first time that I started to understand the rebellion against big business, and the lack of care they have for anything except profits. This song lead me into my teenage political punk phase, providing a bridge into more political bands such as Smoke or Fire, Anti-Flag and Rise Against.

The album holds it’s own until the final two songs; I don’t care much for Re-Gaining Unconsciousness or Whoops I Od’d, I think that the album could have happily finished after 12 songs and with a very strong ending with We Got Two Jealous Agains and 13 Stitches. Perhaps this is because of a fondness with which I remember these two songs. 13 Stitches introduced me to The Descendents, and is oddly associated in my mind with winning a go-kart race as it was stuck in my head at the time, and Jealous Agains was used to find new bands as I stumbled through the 2007 internet to find examples of all of the bands mentioned to increase my punk credibility.

This “review” seems to have turned into a continuation of the reminiscing that occurred when I first put on The War on Errorism vinyl. I should go back and edit this to read as a legitimate review; I could further criticise the final songs on the album and Fat Mike’s vocals, or go on about the many brilliant moments that the album has, but I’m not in the business of providing objective music reviews. I’m in the business of expressing what an album does to my psyche (wrong word, I know) – and this one brings back memories.

6.5/10 (10/10 for memories)

Matt Power
22 December 2015

Full Disclosure

Feeling Happy
Drinking Coffe (x1)
Recent Listening The Descendents
How I Listened Sony XBA-3 Headphones

Note This is the album that got me into punk rock. 

NOFX The War on Errorism

Artist NOFX
Album The War On Errorism
Released 6 May 2003
Label Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks 14
Run Time 37 minutes
Genre Punk

NOFX The War on Errorism