45 Or 46 Songs That Weren't Good Enough To Go On Other Records
2002 Fat Wreck Chords
There’s only one Jewish oriented song on this double CD set and like most of the 45 or 46 songs, it’s under two minutes. But it’s a killer. Zyklon B Bathhouse is a scathing indictment of the McDonald’s next to the old Dachau death camp. "Ronald McDonald / Paint a happy face on a McMurdurer / Same train / Same station / This time the cars are corporate." Those are the words of Michael Burkett. He along with Erik Sandin are the two Jewish members of the punk rock group NOFX (pronounced No F. X).
Back in 1992 they released an album called White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. It was originally called White Trash, Two Kikes and a Spic, until Sandin’s grandmother heard about it. For over ten years they’ve been pumping out short, catchy and tongue-in-cheek punk rock. Unlike other punk bands, NOFX is often not upbeat or happy sounding. Their lyrics are introspective and range from first amendment rights and poverty to silly ditties about other bands they don’t like and women they do.
Their best selling album, 1994’s Punk in Drublic, contained two Jewish oriented songs, Don’t Call Me White and The Brew. The later became something of a Jewish punk anthem. It’s catchy chorus talks about skinheaded Hebrews sporting anti-swastika tattoos and beating up goyim, as long as they’re home for synagogue. Both songs appear on this year’s Split Series in which the band Rancid plays NOFX’s songs and vice versa. Rancid is a great group but their renditions lacking.
On the 1997 track All Out of Angst, Burkett sings about a man searching for meaning in his life who laments that he midn as well "move to Afghanistan / learn the laws of Islam." It could be personal. It could just as easily be about John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban.
The new album contains more of the same. As the title indicated, it’s basically just a collection of B-sides, and unreleased tracks. If you’re a NOFX fan, or a Jewish punk rocker, then you might find it interesting.
Copyright 2003 Jewish Community Radio