I first heard Nobody Special in 1989. My local contemporary Christian music radio station (KOKF 91.1 FM out of Oklahoma City) played their new album in its entirety over the airwaves. You see, KOKF was not your average CCM station. Sure, they played some adult contemporary and “inspirational” stuff during the daytime, but as the late afternoon and evening hit, they would feature more contemporary styles including pop, rap, rock, etc. And then after 9:00, it was all heavy music–mostly metal, but with some punk and hardcore thrown in from time to time. It was how I discovered most of the heavier bands I got into as a teenager.
As a metalhead, I wasn’t really sure what to do with Nobody Special. To my untrained ears at the time, they just sounded like a different take on thrash. As I listened to them more, I heard elements of surf rock, hardcore punk, and the occasional metal lick (especially on “Devil Metal,” which poked fun at so-called “satanic” heavy metal and its obsession with evil).
Over the years, Nobody Special have worked their way into the top spot for me–my favorite punk band of all time. This is a title which has not come without a challenge. For one, there are some fantastic punk and hardcore bands out there who are serious contenders for that elusive spot. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the online antics of founder and leader Pat Nobody have made it difficult. Pat would probably not even consider me a Christian, if his actual views align with the rants he’s posted on social media. But for me, in the end, I had to make a distinction between the music itself, and the personality behind it. I decided that the music was way too important to me to let anyone ruin it–even if that meant the person who made it.
“Finger Pointer” is an absolute gem of a punk song. That opening bass line is killer, and when the syncopated guitar riffs kick in . . . it’s like no other punk tune I’ver ever heard. The song is also interesting lyrically, highlighting some of the frustrations found within life in the Christian bubble:
And so tired of people tellin’ me
How to live
I never claimed to be
So you gotta stay away from me
Point your finger at me, and I’ll bite it off!
I don’t need you to tell me how to live
Ease up pal–where do you get off?
Let’s love one another–live and let live!
While the song may be seen as discouraging one from living a Christian lifestyle, that’s not the intent at all. It’s rather a slightly sardonic admonition to offer each other grace over differing opinions and lifestyle issues.
The whole album is stellar–and it’s worth checking out if you like late 80s skate punk, surf punk, and that whole SoCal scene!
Hey, I’ll take Pat Nobody ANY day over his sellout brother Ojo! The man has a perfect right to speak his mind. With all the conformity in the world right now, it’s refreshing to know that Pat’s out there, hopefully still spewing truth loudly and proudly and NOT hiding behind a mask like 99% of the rest of you wanna be punks!