NOFX – Ribbed: #875 of best 1,000 albums ever!

NOFX - Ribbed

Why is NOFX’s Ribbed on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Insanely energetic punk rock with surprisingly agile music dynamics. But also, you know, fun.  

What does NOFX’s Ribbed mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

This is not the greatest album that NOFX has ever produced. In fact (spoiler alert!), you’ll see more of NOFX on this here best 1,000 albums ever list. However, it’s pretty great. Best 1,000 albums ever great, in fact.

I mention in reaction to All Music’s rather scathing review of Ribbed. Two out of five stars and “…a rocky start that falls way too short way too often,” so says Peter D.J. D’Angelo. I’ll also note that this is one of those situations where the professional critic is on the opposite end of the scale from the average “user ratings,” which is four out of five stars in this case.

I’ll proudly stand with those average users, is what I’m saying.

“The Moron Brothers” is classic NOFX: insane energy, sneering, fun, and funny that somehow coalesces into a rollicking good time that’s catchy and includes surprisingly effective vocals. It’s really a feeling for writing entertaining songs, both in terms of the lyrics and the musical dynamics that makes NOFX stand wildly apart from most punk bands and, frankly, most band bands.

“Together on the Sand” is kind of a “joke song.” It’s not “punk,” for one. It’s a jangly little diddy with pun heavy lyrics that form in fact naughty little jokes. But again it’s surprisingly catchy and well crafted. That’s the thing that most “joke songs” lack: they’re not “good songs.” This is a good song. No quotes needed.

“El Ley” proves that NOFX works perfectly well – and, really, a lot more than that – in straight punk rock mode. They’re an outfit with surprising range and great capability to joke around, but they can also hit you with a straight punk rocker directly over the plate.

One of the more adventurous things I’ve done in my life was to move to England by myself shortly after having graduated from college.

My not incredibly well thought out plan involved staying in a youth hostel for four or five days in London before taking a train to Rochester, Kent where I had a job waiting for me (that was ridiculously similar to what the guys in the hilarious British sitcom, The IT Crowd, did but that’s a tale for another time).

Part of the not incredibly well thought out part was that I had packed for a six-month stay that included a cold UK winter and a white-collar job, so that meant I had a bunch of suitcases (read = duffel bags) jammed into a room with six or seven strangers with whom I was staying.

(Very) luckily, I was staying with a group of young Swedish ladies (yes, they were all blonde; yes, they were all very attractive; no, there were no romantic entanglements between then very single me and any of the young, blonde, attractive Swedish ladies).

There was one other guy in the room, who turned out to be a super cool Dutchman by the name of something like Rens. Rens spoke very broken English, but we became fast friends and hung out together during my London stay. He wanted to get me a job as a bar back at the London Metropol hotel, where he worked as a bartender, and by the time I had to leave London I was semi-regretting not taking him up on the offer.

I mention all of this because I recall him asking me, “Have you heard of NOFX?” But the way it sounded to me was “Have you heard of Noh-efffx?” I had, so therefore I was delighted to hear that the band had at some point recently hung out at the London Metropole bar that Rens worked at. There were suh-pehr kuool, apparently, and tipped well.

So take it from the Dutch: NOFX rocks.

Some stats & info about NOFX – Ribbed

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Punk Rock, American Punk
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating2 of 5 stars
  • When was Ribbed released? 1991
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #875 out of 1,000

NOFX’s Ribbed on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.