Album Review: NOFX & Frank Turner – West Coast VS Wessex

West Coast VS Wessex is a split album from NOFX and Frank Turner, with both artists covering 5 songs from the other artist. Frank Turner may seem like an odd choice to pit against NOFX for such an album, but it works surprisingly well – Frank Turner also has a background in the punk movement, which can’t hurt!

By Jane Howkins

The first track is Substitute, a song normally performed by Frank, but here it is performed by NOFX. There are a few chord sequences that NOFX seem to use a lot in their tracks, and listening to their version of Substitute, it seems to fit perfectly with their style of music. If we didn’t know otherwise, this could genuinely be a NOFX song, and it sounds fantastic sped up.

It’s very interesting to hear the way Frank and NOFX perform these songs, with Frank’s usual folk tinged ballads being turned into fast punk songs, and NOFX’s fast punk songs becoming slower, country themed tracks. Here, Thatcher Fucked The Kids becomes a ska track, with the political nature of the song also fitting in well with NOFX’s usual political style.

We actually preferred Frank’s version of Bob, with it sounding more like a country ballad here. Punk purists may be put off a little at first, but it works, and it works more than it probably should do! Eat The Meek also sounds VERY different (to the point where fans might not have recognised it if they weren’t aware of the split nature of the album), but it still sounds fantastic.

West Coast VS Wessex is a wonderful mini album in between the release of NOFX and Frank Turner’s upcoming records, and fans of both artists should find something to love here. It’s interesting to hear how these songs can be performed in such different ways, and we actually preferred these versions of some of the original tracks!