Heavy Petting Zoo

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Heavy Petting Zoo
NOFX - Heavy Petting Zoo cover.jpg
Studio album by NOFX
Released January 31, 1996
Recorded October 1995, Razors Edge Studios, and Fat Planet
Genre Punk rock, ska punk, skate punk, melodic hardcore
Length 34:54
Label Epitaph
Producer Ryan Greene, NOFX
NOFX chronology
Heavy Petting Zoo
Fuck the Kids
(1996)Fuck the Kids1996
Eating Lamb
12" vinyl cover
12" vinyl cover
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (neither) link

Heavy Petting Zoo (known as Eating Lamb on the LP version) is the sixth studio album by the American punk rock band NOFX. It was released on January 31, 1996 through Epitaph Records. The record reached a position of No. 63 on the American Billboard 200 Albums chart, the first NOFX album to do so.[1] In Austria Heavy Petting Zoo peaked at No. 20, while the album achieved the No. 13 position in both Sweden and Finland.


NOFX recorded the album in October 1995 with Ryan Greene at the Razor's Edge studio, San Francisco, a garage described by the band as "a total dive".[2]

The music on Heavy Petting Zoo has been complimented as "melodic", and the album has been favorably compared to the band's 1991 Ribbed LP,[3] but although tracks like "Hobophobic (Scared of Bums)" and "Freedom Lika Shopping Cart" have been lauded for their witty titles, they have also been criticized for being overly cynical.[4]

The track "August 8th" makes reference to the death of Jerry Garcia. Songwriter Fat Mike commented that he wrote the song, "cuz I fucking hate the Grateful Dead, but it turns out I had the date wrong. He really dies on August 9th. Whoops. I guess I'm lame."[5] According to Fat Mike, the first half of "The Black And White" is concerned with a repressed homosexual male living in "Small Town, USA".[6]

"Liza" revisits the lesbians Liza and Louise introduced on the 1992 album White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. The third song in the series, "Louise" is found on their eighth album Pump up the Valuum.[7]


There are two different cover images for the album, both illustrated by Mark deSalvo, a noted designer of punk album art.[8] The artwork for the CD edition features a man cuddling a sheep. The band's name and album title are featured at the top of the cover. The vinyl edition's artwork features the same man and sheep in a 69 position. The title Eating Lamb is given on the cover of the LP,[9] with Heavy Petting Zoo written on the spine and record itself.

CMJ New Music Monthly, in their review of the album, described it as the band's "nastiest cover yet..",[10] and in their analysis of NOFX's attitude, the authors of Screaming for Change: Articulating a Unifying Philosophy of Punk Rock state: "..the fact that none of the songs on the record deal with animals, zoos, or even bestiality, supports the assertion that the artwork contains little, if any, significant meaning other than portraying images the band is confident will upset and shock the establishment."[11]

To promote the album's release, record label Epitaph sent out inflatable sheep with the message "Fuck ewe" attached.[12] The LP version was banned in Germany, due to its Zoophilia content.[13] A court order in October 1996 prohibited distribution of the record in Germany, and confiscated copies with the offending artwork that were already on public display.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Fat Mike.

No. Title Length
1. "Hobophobic (Scared of Bums)" 0:48
2. "Philthy Phil Philanthropist" 3:10
3. "Freedom Lika Shopping Cart" 3:43
4. "Bleeding Heart Disease" 3:36
5. "Hot Dog in a Hallway" 2:50
6. "Release the Hostages" 2:29
7. "Liza" 2:55
8. "What's the Matter with Kids Today?" 1:13
9. "Love Story" 2:37
10. "The Black and White" 3:36
11. "Whatever Didi Wants" 3:00
12. "August 8th" 1:35
13. "Drop the World" 3:22


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NOFX Biography". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "NOFX Albums: Heavy Petting Zoo". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Gold, Jonathan (1996). "Reviews: Heavy Petting Zoo, NOFX". Spin (April): 113. 
  4. ^ Molanphy, Chris (1996). "Reviews: Heavy Petting Zoo, NOFX". CMJ New Music Monthly (April): 40. 
  5. ^ "NOFX: Q&A". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "NOFX: Q&A". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  7. ^ Zimmermann, Curtis. "Pump Up the Valuum". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Mark deSalvo artwork". Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Spiegel, Josef (2004). "Nur für Erwachsene": Rock und Popmusik: zensiert, diskutiert, unterschlagen. p. 79. 
  10. ^ Molanphy, Chris (1996). "Reviews: Heavy Petting Zoo, NOFX". CMJ New Music Monthly (April): 40. 
  11. ^ Screaming for Change: Articulating a Unifying Philosophy of Punk Rock. p. 113. ISBN 0739142763. 
  12. ^ Cmj Network, Inc (1996). "Promo". CMJ New Music Monthly. 
  13. ^ Spiegel, Josef (2004). "Nur für Erwachsene": Rock und Popmusik: zensiert, diskutiert, unterschlagen. p. 79. 
  14. ^ "List of various image-examples: Censorship by banning and confiscating media objects". zensur.org. 

External links[edit]