Monday, October 18, 2010

Albums2010 #29: And Out Come The Wolves

How can I express the amount of my love for this band? Rancid, pure and simple rocks my face off, not because they come from that glorious period of California post-punk that gave us bands like Green Day and Social Distortion (and as a sort of semi-distant pair of cousins, Sublime and No Doubt) but because Rancid seems to be permanently stuck in upbeat mood and you can't help but rock out and generally be happy when you listen to them. They just kick ass, plain and simple.

And Out Come The Wolves proves to be a fantastic example of their bombastic, high energy style- with some of my all time favorite songs all crammed into one, glorious package. I can't remember when I first heard of Rancid, but I'm not ashamed to say that it was probably on a random episode of 'Gilmore Girls' when the ska-driven beats of 'Time Bomb' filled the screen- and soon 'Ruby Soho' and 'Roots Radicals' made their way into my iTunes and it just got better and better.

So where does this fit into my overall love of all things punk, post-punk, ska and the like? Well, it rates pretty highly as a matter of fact. If Green Day was the post-punk band that broke through into the commercial mainstream, then Rancid feels like the band that stayed in the trenches and continued to fight the good fight. Not to hate on Green Day too much, god love 'em, but they got a little commercial. Rancid doesn't feel like that- it feels raw and powerful, a power that Green Day had, softened and found again over the course of their career. To me, the very ethos of punk is a sort of driving 'fuck you' type of attitude that should permeate the music. Rancid has that in spades, which is a rare feat. Punk came out of rage at the decay of the late 70s that was all around in the UK, but Rancid brings in other things. It's not all about the rage and the music reflects it.

Sounds like a complete load o'bollocks to me, but it's the best way I have of putting it in my own words- an always important thing to do. In the great pantheon of musical history, Rancid joins The Offspring and Green Day as the trifecta that revived interest in punk at the start of the 90s. How to place them? I'm not entirely sure- no doubt, it took me a long while to discover them, but that didn't mean they weren't part of the musical zeitgeist long before that. A kick-ass band, that much is for certain and this album is fine demonstration of a damn good band at the top of its game.

Overall: One of the best musical discoveries I have ever made, Rancid (as I've said) rocks my face off. Blisteringly fast with influences of ska and reggae and punk blending together in a unique, high-energy sound, Rancid deserves a place of honor in punk's pantheon- and is well worth a listen if like bands that just plain rock.

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