This has to be one of the most exciting splits released for some years. Both fans of NOFX and Frank Turner no doubt will be eager to get their locked down hands on this slice of modern history.
Long-standing friends & fans of each other’s catalogue, the album ‘West Coast Vs. Wessex’ (due for release on July 31) sees NOFX tackle 5 tracks from Turner’s sizeable solo career, with Frank reciprocating with 5 re-workings of his favourite NOFX tunes.
The first two tracks released today from the project are NOFX’s version of ‘Thatcher Fucked The Kids’ and Frank’s re-work of ‘Bob’, whose accompanying video features Fat Mike & NOFX deadpanning along….
Frank Turner said about the chance to create something special
Just how often does the leader of one of your favourite bands ask you to do a split album? One where his band covers your songs? It’s the situation Frank Turner found himself in last year, when Fat Mike of NOFX asked if he wanted to do a split covers album. “And I shit the bed and said, ‘Fucking of course I do! That sounds incredible,” Turner recalls. ‘West Coast Vs. Wessex’ does sound incredible: NOFX filtering five songs from Turner’s sizeable solo back catalogue through their singular sensibility, with Turner reciprocating to record five of his personal favourites from NOFX’s 37-years-and-counting career. But these aren’t simply double-time versions of Turner’s folk-punk tunes or acoustic re-workings of NOFX’s iconic SoCal punk anthems – both took time to play with the possibilities each other’s music presented.
NOFX’s Fat Mike quiped
“I listened to all his records, and I picked the ones that I thought I could make more interesting,” notes Fat Mike. “What I did is change a lot of chords. Frank, he beats me in the singing department. So I can’t sing better than he can, but I can maybe throw in a melody here or there or chord that he hadn’t thought of.” Turner took a similar approach. “I didn’t want to just do straight covers of anything. I wanted to try and pick songs where I felt like me and my band could bring something different to the table,” he says. “But it did strike me that it would be cool to demonstrate to the casual NOFX fan, who doesn’t know who I am, that I am actually a fan. I didn’t just go to Spotify and pick the five most-listened-to songs.” For the record, only one of his choices appears on Spotify’s top five for NOFX: ‘Bob’, which Turner here transforms into a wistful country song.
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