What could a punker want more ? NOFX doing a split album with Rancid is a thing that will be sticking in human history for ages, and when someone will turn back thinking of the first decade of 2000, they will surely think about NOFX splitting with Rancid. And I imagine BYO Records is quite happy to be the chosen one, as I see platinum album on the way.
But, let's forget about that and talk about the music: NOFX cover six songs done by Rancid while Rancid do the opposite. Everyone said NOFX did better versions or Rancid did better versions but I truly do not know that, I think every band did a good version of the song they covered , maybe I just expected something different from both bands.
NOFX doing a ska version of Radio just do not fit it, that song is made to be played loud, not with El Hefe singing reggae influenced music, but this is just my opinion; instead , the cover of Corazon De Oro is amazing: they played fast melodic punk rock on a ska tune, and Fat Mike voice is awesome as well. Olympia WA and Antennaes are also two great covers, re-done in the classic NOFX way: fast guitar riffs and drums, some pauses and in general a lot of melody. But this was present also on the original Rancid song. I'm the One and Tenderloin from Let's Go are quite alright, I just think that those were Rancid songs and I'd leave Rancid play them.
Talking of Rancid's work, the cover of Moron Bros is not ok, I miss the dododo slow parts of NOFX, while Stickin In My Eye and Vanilla Sex are quite similar to the original versions. Don't Call Me White and The Brews left me a bit disappointed, I could not imagine someone could sing these anthems so bad. I mean, The Brews is ok, but NOFX do it better, and Don't Call Me White sung by Matt Freeman...well, I guess he should play bass, a thing that he does better than anyone. Bob is also ok, but where is El Hefe's trumpet ? Gone.
In the end, I guess that with a few exceptsion ( as Olympia Wa and Antennaes by NOFX ),these songs are better played by the band that wrote them, even tough this split is just great, at least for the idea of having two of the greatest bands of the 90's playing on the same firstname.lastname@example.org