NOFX is a band that, to quote S.T. Erlewine’s review of Punk in Drublic, is “a heavy, speed-addled, hook-conscious post-hardcore punk group.” Although their assault on the eardrums is a little relentless for my tastes, I have listened to a few of their albums to amusement. I also have a deep, abiding love for the band’s frontman and songwriter, Fat Mike, and the record label he started, Fat Wreck Chords, thanks to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.
Before we dive into their best-known song, I want to take a moment and admire the names of some of their albums. Their first release was simply The Album, but they got better from there. Punk in Drublic is such a good album title that it makes you predisposed to love it. Other highlights include Wolves in Wolves Clothing, I Heard They Suck Live, They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live, and, my favorite, a demos collection called 45 or 46 Songs That Weren’t Good Enough to Go on Our Other Records.
“Linoleum” is the band’s most popular song, according to Spotify, and it’s a great one. While NOFX is often rambunctious for the sake of silliness, there’s a pathos here amidst the bits of crassness. The image at the song’s core is a profound one: The narrator’s only friend is linoleum, which he passes out on every morning after heavy drinking. His reflections are heartbreaking without treading into bleak, an impressive feat of writing. All of this without compromising on the band’s relentless pace and intensity.
I discovered this song through the Streetlight Manifesto cover, which adds a contemplative, acoustic angle to the track.