Dedicated to my pal Jason who is about to see Rancid open for the Misfits at Madison Square Gardens.
Some albums earn automatic 5/5 star ratings. This is one of those albums. How’s that for a punk rock length review?
Oh, alright, you wanted to read a little more with your coffee and slippers and battered & torn old jean jacket this morning? Fine. …And Out Come the Wolves is a landmark, spiritually plucked from an earlier time, as if it came out alongside Never Mind the Bollocks and The Ramones instead of Dookie and Smash. It’s uncompromising, timeless, and relentless. Best of all, there isn’t a weak track amongst the 19 included.
Rancid are punk rock for music fans. Check out Matt Freeman’s absolutely nutso bass solo on opening track “Maxwell Murder” (1:25 long). There’s another on “Lock, Step & Gone”. The album is sharp but not overproduced; there are plenty of rough edges to scratch your itches on. The dual vocals of Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen are individual; albeit both are adequately snotty and gravelly.
…And Out Come the Wolves is notable for its ska influence on a number of tracks. It’s even alluded to in the lyrics: “Give ’em the boot, the roots, the reggae on my stereo.” Or, “Echoes of reggae, comin’ through my bedroom wall.” But even the tunes without the ska boast an abnormally astute sense of melody. Six tonnes of integrity and a sneer.
- T-Rev’s favourite song was “Roots Radicals”; he got me into the band. Via the Record Store, I had a four song sampler cassette that included “Roots Radicals”, “Ruby Soho”, “Junkie Man” and “Time Bomb”.
- Jason’s favourite tunes are the fucking awesome “Disorder & Disarray” and “Journey to the End of the East Bay”.
- I had a very significant life event associated with “Time Bomb” that I won’t be telling you about.
- My grunge buddy Aaron strongly hated Rancid and I never understood why.
50 minutes of punk perfection, by four guys who absolutely know their shit. Each song is different; there is something here for everyone. Nobody can go wrong, you can only open your world up to something bright and colourful. …And Out Come the Wolves will blast your adrenal glands up wide open and stimulate your sense of skank. Do not live your life without it.