Friday, September 14, 2012

FDF Volune 3 Issue 280 - Rancid - ...and Out Come the Wolves

Album - ..and out come the Wolves
Artist - Rancid
Key Players – Brett Reed - drums, Matt Freeman – bass. Lars Frederiksen – guitar and vocals, Tim Armstrong – lead vocals, guitar
Produced By - Jerry Finn and Rancid

Release Date – August 22, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Always looking for new ideas, sometimes they come right to me, others I have to look to see if they were reviewed. Recent rumblings a new record had me curious to go back.

Overview – This is the third studio album by Berkeley California punk band Rancid. Formed in 1991 after the dissolving of highly influential ska/punk band Operation Ivy Matt Freeman and Tim Armstrong would recruit Lars Frederiksen and Brett Reed and go on to become one of the most widely praised punk rock bands ever. Shunning major labels and touring continually have also been credited with keeping the large, and mostly original fan base. Barring a short hiatus the band has remained largely intact and free from many of the rock and roll trappings. This album would crack the top 50 on the US Billboard charts and go gold within a few months. It continues to sell well.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “Maxwell Murder” starts off the 19 track album with a wonderful punk flash. There is some silence at the start, but we go. The bass from Freeman is punchy and Reed is quick to pummel his kit. As expected, the vocals are quickly “sung” (lets face it punk rockers tend to chant..its all good). They fit an awful lot in to 1:25. Freemans bass stands out the most to these ears. Tracks don't crack the three minute mark (only 4 of them do) so we get in and out. “The 11th Hour” is less frantic vocally, but the music no less urgent. Frederiksen is okay with the guitar chords as Reed and Freeman lay the solid back beat. Freeman has another stand out, or “high in the mix” bass run that gets right to your core. One of the radio singles comes next in “Roots Radicals”. A buzzy, sweaty, fist pumping romp. This is the first track where there are some backing vocals. A little on the verses to harmonize, but mostly in the chorus to fill it out. We don't slow down and go in to another radio single in “Time Bomb”. This has a bit more of the melody of a pop/punk song with hints of the ska organ that the band that only come up fuller later in the track. It is very different than the rowdy songs prior, but showing off some of their abilities is a plus. We get a little more back to the punk feel with “Olympia WA”. Armstrong sings of meeting Lars and “hanging on the corner”. You get the three chords and solid bass line ( expected!) throughout. This is the longest track on the album and allows for a guitar solo! It fits well with the song, doesn’t go on and on, and then the band has a breakdown with the vocals before firing it all back. The backing vocals continue to be very strong in “Lock, Step & Gone”. The sheer power of the band is evident in the hammering of the drums. Beaten like they owe him money Reed just won't let up. The band is good with breaking up tracks, with just vocals and guitar for example, or a quick bass fill, before everyone comes in. Breaking out of that whole “2-3-4” cliché, they keep it interesting enough. The guitars ring a little brighter on “Junkie Man”, and you really hear the layers. Armstrong and Frederiksen blend the guitar lines seamlessly. A ring over the top, with a buzzy underneath. Reed seems to be in a hurry and “Listed M.I.A” takes right off. We are clear and on point. The track that I personally like the best comes in “Ruby Soho”. Say what you will, this tune just owns. From the guitar chords to the bass line that just swings underneath and reverts to the punchy notes during the verse. Reed strikes the snare and you just scream “Destinaaaaaaation UnnnnnnnnnNNNKNOWN”. Late in the track when they chant the song title and just blow it up coming back around....there are few finer things. Armstrong starts off “Daly City Train” seemingly alone. Just his voice and a few organ chords and then Reed gives the “rat-a-tat” across the drums and Freeman gets the swing started. The guitars are more subtle, if that is possible, on this track, and sans a short solo later in the track, remain pretty straight forward. Freeman gets his solo intro as “Journey to the End of the East Bay”builds to a noisy full band take off. Freeman works the fret board like a funk bassist, just getting all over the place. Reed pulls Armstrong and Frederiksen in and the guitars wall up around you. Another bouncing sing along fist pumper. In and out in just over 1:30 is “She's Automatic”. As you'd imagine the guitars run right up on you and everyone locks in and takes off. “Old Friend” has a similar feel/sound as “Time Bomb” with a bit more of the ska feel to it. With a song title like “Disorder and Disarray” you get what you'd expect. Rumbling drums and bass and the dual guitar attack. The single guitar intro on “The Wars End” is a distorted slow rise as Armstrong sings the angst filled lyrics. Reed strikes the snare and Freeman has that terrific bass sound right out of the gate. AS you listen to the record you can hear the complexity of some of the fills from Freeman, something I personally have seemed to have missed. Great stuff. We continue with the speed on “You Don't Care Nothin'”. Deep in to the record they show no signs of letting up. Yep, again on “As Wicked” and “Avenues and Alleyways”. Don't take this as diss, they do it, and do it well. Just not a ton of ways to say the same thing, differently. (that makes no sense). We conclude the record with “The Way I Feel”. The track goes out blazing hot and fast. The growl in Armstrong's voice can be felt and the backing vocals push everything to an epic close.

Where are they now? - Brett Reed left the band in 2006 after the hiatus. The band otherwise is intact and there are talks of a new release already being recorded and perhaps seeing the light of day in 2012.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - As part of the WBCN X-Mas Rave I saw the band play the larger room of Mama Kin Music Hall (December 1, 1998). They shared the bill that night with Less Than Jake and one other band in the larger room. The room was packed and by the time they started to play you were grateful for the Mohawks so you could see just where they were on stage!

FDF Overall Take – At times I sort of feel reviewing records that are/were “big” is sort of a cop out. Why not dig in to a different record for example from the same band. Part of the reason is this is the only one I own from them. All that said, this sold well for a reason. It is a great record. Never mind its “punk” or whatever other tag. Its just a solid record that no person would ever look at your collection and say “ like them?”


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

for some reason embedding has not worked..anyhow..
Roots Radicals
You can still track it down very easily.  Try here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


At 5:54 AM, Blogger mondal said...

I am great fan of punk music.

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