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NOFX - They've Actually Gotten Worse Live! Album Cover

NOFX - They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!

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5.9
NOFX - They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release Date: November 20, 2007
Entertainers everywhere take notice: performing while intoxicated might be fun, but if you're looking to put on a decent show, its best to avoid having more than two drinks before hitting the stage. This is something punk veterans NOFX don't care about one way or another; the band is known to play while so drunk they can barely stand. They didn't even bother to sober up before recording their new live record, They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!, a fact which singer/bassist Fat Mike proudly announces before the band begins playing. They may not be concerned that they're too fucked up to play properly, but this doesn't change that almost every song is characterized by slurred lyrics, off-key singing and out-of-time playing. Thus, the real entertaining moments on this album are the in-between song banter, and not the songs themselves.

The songs themselves include classics from the band's back catalog such as "The Longest Line" and "Green Corn," new and rare songs such as "What Now My Love," "I, Melvin," and staples of NOFX shows such as "Murder the Government" and "Franco Un-American," all of which are sloppy and poorly played. How clear their drunkenness is varies from track to track, but it absolutely plagues "What's the Matter With Parents Today," during which the band constantly struggles to maintain a steady rhythm. A few songs, like "Lori Myers" and "Eat the Meek,” manage to do justice to their original versions, but overall the band makes little effort to play any of the songs that well, with Fat Mike making confessions along the lines of "there's no fucking way we're going to play this right" before several tracks. Guitarist El Hefe even asks "What key is this in again?" before one song. Most bands would be smart enough to not release a live record they made while drunk and unprepared, but NOFX, for some reason, have chosen to do so.

One notable aspect of the album is the band has taken certain songs from their catalog and reworked them. While this is a nice concept, it turns out to be very hit-or-miss. Songs such as "Whoops I OD'd" and "Scavenger Type" that were previously slow, acoustic-based songs have been changed into fast paced punk songs. The problem is, what made these songs work was the dark vibe and simplicity they had in their original incarnations. Performing these with lightning-fast tempos takes away what made them special in the first place, and as a result they sound very similar to other songs in the band's catalog (the new version of "Scavenger Type" even steals its opening riff from "Medio-core," a cut from 2003's The War on Errorism). On the other hand, "We March to the Beat of Indifferent Drum," a song from 2006's Wolves in Wolves Clothing, which was originally a fast paced punk rock song, has been changed to a reggae/dub song. This works very well, and is a shining example of the group's all too seldom used ability to play this style of music. In fact, it winds up as likely the best part of the record, even surpassing the original version of the song. "Stickin' in My Eye," a classic song from 1992's White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean, is mostly unchanged, except guitarist Eric Melvin is now on lead vocals. This is a nice touch; the song sounds like it was written precisely for his vocal range.

Despite the occasional interesting portion, there's really no reason for this record to exist. It should have been scrapped the minute the band members sobered up enough to realize the album they had just recorded was awful. It pains me to say that, as I've been a fan of NOFX for years, but I know a bad performance when I hear it. The band seems to embrace the sloppiness of the record, even going so far as to put out a press release describing They've Actually Gotten Worse Live! as the "sloppiest, drunkest, funniest, best sounding recording ever." Sloppiest, drunkest, and funniest definitely apply here, but best sounding? Not a chance. This band can do better.

Recommended Tracks“We March to the Beat of Indifferent Drum,” “Stickin' in My Eye,” “Lori Meyers”
This review is a user submitted review from TheOtherAndrew. You can see all of TheOtherAndrew's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32
03:50 PM on 12/01/07
#2
TheOtherAndrew
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Weird, this is my second review in a row where I gave the album a 59%.
03:52 PM on 12/01/07
#3
Adrian Villagomez
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You're such a jerk - always giving out low scores.
03:56 PM on 12/01/07
#4
TheOtherAndrew
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haha the review i'm working on now will have a higher one. promise.
08:17 PM on 12/01/07
#5
HangsLikeHeaven
coughin' like you caught a cold
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Hahaha, sweet review, Andrew.
08:21 PM on 12/01/07
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TheOtherAndrew
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09:11 PM on 12/01/07
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Karl Hansen
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Being a long term NOFX fan (11 years......damn time moves fast) i would have to say that this release is kind of disapointing. But so is every other live album released today. Why the hell do you release an ALBUM when you can take the effort, and film a DVD, which will make fans much more happy, and pirates much less likely to steal and copy......... weird.

Nonetheless, this record is not great. Period. I do however feel the reviewer miscredit the band waaaaay too much. Guessing he doesn't play an instrument himself, NOFX puts on a hell of a show every night. Them being drunk is a part of it, as well as playing some of the songs "sloppy" ( I wouldn't use that term. Pete Wentz is a truly sloppy bass player, Fat Mike is just kinda drunk). Sure, No Use For A Name is the best live band I've seen in terms of tight playing and sounding like "on the album", but on this recording i think NOFX are close.

My main problem with this release, despite from it not being a DVD, is the fact that it lacks inspiration. The original NOFX live album "I heard they suck live" is to day perhaps the best Live album, because of the sheer energy of the songs, and the variations from the Album versions. This new one sounds like all of the other Live albums from the "Live in a dive" series which menas the sound quality is perfect, but the energy is lacking.


Blah blah blah... I'm fucked up :) Just feel it isn't right to miscredit NOFX for doing what they do "every" night - getting drunk and putting on a good show. Growing up doesn't have to mean growing boring!
09:14 PM on 12/01/07
#8
Karl Hansen
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BTW I wouldn't say the reviewer is a jerk...far from it actually..but I do think this was a poor review.
09:23 PM on 12/01/07
#9
TheOtherAndrew
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Being a long term NOFX fan (11 years......damn time moves fast) i would have to say that this release is kind of disapointing. But so is every other live album released today. Why the hell do you release an ALBUM when you can take the effort, and film a DVD, which will make fans much more happy, and pirates much less likely to steal and copy......... weird.

Nonetheless, this record is not great. Period. I do however feel the reviewer miscredit the band waaaaay too much. Guessing he doesn't play an instrument himself, NOFX puts on a hell of a show every night. Them being drunk is a part of it, as well as playing some of the songs "sloppy" ( I wouldn't use that term. Pete Wentz is a truly sloppy bass player, Fat Mike is just kinda drunk). Sure, No Use For A Name is the best live band I've seen in terms of tight playing and sounding like "on the album", but on this recording i think NOFX are close.

My main problem with this release, despite from it not being a DVD, is the fact that it lacks inspiration. The original NOFX live album "I heard they suck live" is to day perhaps the best Live album, because of the sheer energy of the songs, and the variations from the Album versions. This new one sounds like all of the other Live albums from the "Live in a dive" series which menas the sound quality is perfect, but the energy is lacking.


Blah blah blah... I'm fucked up :) Just feel it isn't right to miscredit NOFX for doing what they do "every" night - getting drunk and putting on a good show. Growing up doesn't have to mean growing boring!
I don't know what you're talking about. I do play an instrument myself. I've also seen NOFX on a night when Mike didn't have a drop of alcohol, and it was a good show. But when a band gets so hammered they can't play right, that's not a good show. Regardless if a few fans say that it "adds to the show" to have them drunk, it certainly doesn't add to the performance.

And if you don't think it was a good review, sorry, but I stand by everything I said 100%. Go to punknews if you want to see a positive one, they (somehow) gave it 3 stars.
11:57 PM on 12/01/07
AP_Punk
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I enjoyed it. Andrew's a poser. :-D
01:13 AM on 12/02/07
TheOtherAndrew
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I enjoyed it. Andrew's a poser. :-D
I will destroy you!

08:27 AM on 12/02/07
Karl Hansen
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I don't know what you're talking about. I do play an instrument myself. I've also seen NOFX on a night when Mike didn't have a drop of alcohol, and it was a good show. But when a band gets so hammered they can't play right, that's not a good show. Regardless if a few fans say that it "adds to the show" to have them drunk, it certainly doesn't add to the performance.

And if you don't think it was a good review, sorry, but I stand by everything I said 100%. Go to punknews if you want to see a positive one, they (somehow) gave it 3 stars.

Putting on a good Punk rock show is not only about the sheer performance or how well you can play your instruments. It's not Mozart. To me, it's about energy, fun and charisma as well. Of course it's more difficult to play your instrument right when drunk.

As with No Use... who I belive most of us will agree are a GREAT live band. Their Live In A Dive however, is not really appealing to me - the energy of their show somehow didn't make it from the scene onto the CD.

As I said, I don't think this is a particularly good release. I'd rate it 65/100. The reason I don't like the review is not because you rated the Album low, but because it focuses on the wrong aspects, in my opinion.
09:17 AM on 12/02/07
mrzippo3
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I love it personally
10:48 AM on 12/02/07
Nap
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I really liked it, but when people say they don't I really can wonder why.
02:39 PM on 12/02/07
TheOtherAndrew
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Putting on a good Punk rock show is not only about the sheer performance or how well you can play your instruments. It's not Mozart. To me, it's about energy, fun and charisma as well. Of course it's more difficult to play your instrument right when drunk.

As with No Use... who I belive most of us will agree are a GREAT live band. Their Live In A Dive however, is not really appealing to me - the energy of their show somehow didn't make it from the scene onto the CD.

As I said, I don't think this is a particularly good release. I'd rate it 65/100. The reason I don't like the review is not because you rated the Album low, but because it focuses on the wrong aspects, in my opinion.
Agree to disagree, I guess. I mean it was fairly energetic but I don't think that performing with charisma and performing proficiently should contradict each other. I've heard plenty of live albums where the bands are focused and sober and still put on a great show. I don't consider this one of them. The first NOFX live album was closer.

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