And Out Come The Wolves - Rancid
1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Epitaph - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 08/1995 - 8714092644425
7 reviews from the community
Review of "And Out Come The Wolves - Rancid"
If you’re anything like me you’ll be fed up with whinge-core. Music designed to show that middle aged white men are all fed up with bad relationships and they DO have a heart, just ‘cause they have tattoos and shave their heads doesn’t make them a macho idiot. They don’t like having their hearts broken. They have “pain inside” (TM Staind, Nickleback etc.). Worst of all, these guys have “issues”. How convenient! So do all those teenagers out there who haven’t latched onto something meaningful. At the risk of sounds hypocritical, at least Nirvana had decent tunes to go with the moribund self-loathing.Hell, they had REASONS to be upset, those grunge guys (not least with their dress sense). Now we’re faced with the remnants of the “90’s man”, the gentle giants who mushed their way through relationships only to realise women don’t want men to be women (unless it’s Tuesday night in which case bring out the miniskirt) – they want them to be themselves. All this confusion has left Middle American Man in a state of turmoil, so we get some beanie hat wearing ponce (talking to you Durst!) strolling along saying he’s all about the music when some of his biggest hits have been about dishing the dirt on ex girlfriends (Nookie) and the nonsense rhymes of the theme to Mission Impossible 2 (“Now I know why you wanna hate me/’Cause hate is all the world has even seen lately” IT MAKES NO COCKING SENSE!). The backlash will be slow – and I do still feel like a hypocrite. Axl Rose was a damn good frontman but HIS biggest hits were – dishing the dirt on ex-girlfriends, and sometimes wishing them dead. BUT HE HAD THE MUSIC TO BACK IT UP WITH!
In my brain, as I picture raising children (a thought even scarier than being forced to watch a whole hour of Maury Povich), I see me sitting them down and making them listen to life affirming music – which rocks – and has messages that make sense, stuff for them to think about. Plus Backyard Babies. Top of the list, or damn well near it – the effortlessly cool Rancid.Ben turns up the bass.
Presses play.Wait. Pause.
***WHY IN THE NAME OF GORDON RAMSAY’S GUSSET DID YOU BUY THIS?***Easy. Back in 96 I got into punk – decent new wave American stuff, not the sub-Levellers grooves of Green Day or the F**KING IRRITATING Offspring, bands with style and REAL punk kudos. One such were Rancid, largely due to this CD. I sold my copy in 1999, amongst financial turmoil. Now I have my sh*t together, I bought it once more (£13.99 from HMV, available cheaper elsewhere, read on…). Has it stood up to the test of time? Pretty much!
***A BIT ABOUT THE BAND***
Tim Armstrong sings and plays guitar. Lars Frederiksen plays guitar and provides vocals. Brett Reed bangs the skins. Matt Freeman plays bass and sings in the background. Rancid were formed in September 1991, from the ashes of Operation Ivy (you may have heard of them! Er, if you like punk, that is…) and you can find out all about them at www.rancidrancid.com. Enough about them – what about the music? My pause button needs one further press...
Track One – Maxwell MurderStart as you mean to go on? Certainly. With a slow build up of non-distinct noise, this drumstick-clicks into a quick punk beat, with prevalent bass guitar. Shouting in the lead up to the chorus is hard to make out but who cares…here comes the bass solo, which is the quickest damn guitar work I’ve heard today. The track is 1 minute 25 seconds long, but as a statement of intent works perfectly,. This is punk attitude all the way – those disinterested must switch off now, because the next track kicks straight in!
Track Two – The 11th Hour“Aaall-right!” sings Tim and the guitars give in to the catchy verse. The chorus has the band joining in on the lyrics “Do you know where the power lies/And who pulls the strings?/Do you know where the power lies/It starts and ends with you.” Better than “All this pain I feel inside?” Discuss. At this speed even Tim’s lament of “I was almost over/my world was almost gone” feels like a commentary leading up to better things rather than lachrymose soul-searching. Ballads? On a Rancid CD? Nope!
Track Three – Roots RadicalsThe song that pulled me right into this CD – a kind of love story to reggae songs, but also a little tale of riding on a bus. It doesn’t sound like much, but I’m a sucker for “yeah-yeah” breaks and stop-start songs, even the slightly nonsensical lyrics matter not WHEN THE MUSIC IS STRONG. Plus it helps if you sing them like they mean something to you – something more than the next pay check.
Track Four – Time BombA ska-lite number with a brilliant groove behind it. A simple ditty about a kid who messes his life up. Not a very happy ending (read the lyrics on the inlay), but it matters not, this is a great song when it’s on in a rock club (hardly ever), and YES! An organ-style solo and a guitar solo that sounds a little out of tune but somehow fits perfectly into this sunny number about a dark subject.
Track Five – Olympia WAThis CD really doesn’t let up, not much room between songs to catch your breath, and everything is played at the most appropriate speed – usually pretty fast. This is a less frenetic song than some, but still quite “busy”. Tim’s gone out for the night with Lars and gone on a bit of a bender by himself, by the sound of it. This is my favourite kind of Rancid song, one where a little story of a night out is told to irritatingly good music. Proof positive that even mentioning New York City in a song is damn cool.
Track Six – Lock, Step and GoneTime to slow things down very slightly. A quiet riff plays over the drums & bass, with reliance really on the vocal melodies, which are typically gravel-voiced and effective. Except for the cool mid section, I rely on the singing to bop along to. Sounds like a song about dependency on something haggard, but draw your own conclusion, it’s half the fun!
Track Seven – Junkie Man“The common man doesn’t suffer pain like this” – could well have been pulled from a dull complaint rock song (NO I AM NOT BITTER ABOUT THEM!), but this is another speedy groove-laden racket. Bizarrely, the mid section features some DJ-scratching and cut & paste style ramblings from someone, which breaks up the song in an unexpected and pretty cool way – damn those talented Rancid-ers!
Track Eight – Listed M.I.A.One of those songs that make you want to do a “clap-clap, clap” handclap (duh!) along with it, and the chorus may well make you want to sing along with it – just me then. Oh, okay. “I’m checking out/I’m never coming back again/I’m checking out/I’m listed M.I.A.” Then the middle comes around, and wouldn’t you know it – those handclaps come in after all. What's a rock record without them?
Track Nine – Ruby SohoAnother of my favourites – they’re all good but this takes a slightly different turn. Quiet verse with subtle drums and quieter guitars before letting it all out in the chorus. I think it’s about Tim making up a story in his head about the neighbours he can hear through his wall in a nearby apartment. Very cool (“Cool” use count – 5).
Track Ten – Daly City TrainYes! The infamous “awful guitar solo” track! The ska influence comes through with a similar groove to Time Bomb, but different words and everything! A tribute to a friend, or so it seems from the lyrics sheet. Any thoughts of a man shooting up junk are dispelled when the “wacky” guitar solo comes in. Even though it’s totally wrong, it fits like cling film over the face of Kilroy and pray that this time he doesn’t bite through it and start breathing.
Track Eleven – Journey To The End of the East BayThe greatest line of the CD – “this ain’t no mecca, man – this place is f**ked.” ‘Nuff said. Not one of my favourites musically, it dallies a little too long on the intro and is mildly uninspiring, were it not for the lyrics being so good, I might hate this one.
Track Twelve – She’s AutomaticYeah! Punk rock love song! Gritty and dirty just like life can be, right? Wrong! This is a belter of a tune, but never gets down & dirty with details, just straightforward admiration of a lady. Okay, Tim does say “the way that she moves/well I was aroused”, but it only goes as far as that! If you want dirt, go check out an Anal C**t record. Someone has to.
Track Thirteen – Old FriendHere comes that ska again… with an irresistible chorus hook. Makes me want to get my baggy trousers on and play saxophone underwater… sorry, temporary madness… Nothing new over the other ska based songs in a musical sense, but those simple but cool (6) lyrics make this too good to skip. And people going “hey!” before a guitar solo knocks me out. I have simple tastes – sometimes!
Track Fourteen – Disorder and Disarray“Cruci-fy-yi-yi-yi-yiay me!” goes the chorus. “Cruci-fy-yi-yi-yi-yiay me!” goes your humble reviewer. Yer typical punk song about being offered cash for their services, much like “Sell Out” by Reel Big Fish, only with swearing. Poor punk bands, being offered money. Makes you weep doesn’t it? Being offered cash to do something you love. Ah well, makes for a great song.
Track Fifteen – The Wars EndSmacks of stadium rock for the intro. “Little Sammy was a punk rocker” may as well have been sung by The Boss or Bon Jovi, but Rancid have the usual array of cymbal bashing and political content to get them as far away from the poodle perm pomp rock of Mr Jovi as possible. Plus, I can’t see Tim Armstrong being invited to be Ally McBeals’ latest squeeze, somehow.
Track Sixteen – You Don’t Care Nothin’Beautiful bass strumming in the intro, and another fast punk song – I’m spotting a theme here. Imagine seeing a band live, remove the between song banter and you get a good idea about the feel of this stuff. It will not end! Tim and Lars tell it how it is – if you’re Jenny DeMilo, this song will make sense, as you keep getting name checked! Who is she? Dunno. Doesn’t matter, good song, though not one of my favourites, goes on a little too long.
Track Seventeen – As WickedThat’s more like it! With a “1-2-3-4” (TM and © The Ramones), the song begins in earnest with a tale of people around doing badly, but all set to another up-tempo number that again makes it feel like just part of life, do what you can and realise you’re lucky if you can get out of something bad. Don’t forget your roots. Too true. So, no, not “wicked” in a “that’s great” sense, then.
Track Eighteen – Avenues and AlleywaysOne more punk cliché to be had – the “OY!” - and more power to it! “I’m a battering ram coming through to you/In every alleyway and every avenue/OY! OY! OY!” goes the chorus, and who can blame it? A song about people coming together for the greater good. So let me get this right – were people against punk because it was nasty and involved spitting (and cider), or because they were bigots who didn’t want everyone to break down the class system? Hmm… Still doesn’t excuse Malcolm McLaren for being a dick though, no matter how much he had to do with it. “Double Dutch?” WTF?
Track Nineteen – The Way I FeelThe best closing song they could have picked – pure “you can’t stop me” mentality mixed with a brilliant tune. Lars and Tim shout verses at each other (you can easily imagine them standing face to face in the studio). What’s that? Not had a “nah nah nah” chorus yet? Okay, stick that in. The key thing – as I have said before – with outro tracks is: can they make you want to skip straight to track one and go through the CD again? The answer for me is a bigger “yes!” than the one uttered by a nun on her first bicycle ride down a cobbled street.
***COVER ART ANY GOOD?***Simple but effective, like an ice cube in your pants on a summers day. All in ed, black & white, with a spray-painted Rancid logo adorning the front, which features a punk on some steps, his arms on his knees and his head facing the ground, revealing his mohican in full 2-D glory. The back features a car shining its headlights at you, for some reason. Inside, one of my only faults with this package. The lyrics are written out in a messy order with pen, hand-written that’s right. Makes them hard to follow, but hey! that’s punk baby! Quite distinctive, you may have seen the punk fella on a few t-shirts, including one my ex won’t give back to me!
***WILL I LIKE THIS CD?***Yeah, if you like bands such as Blink 182 (starting to grow on me actually), older 70’s punk like Ramones, ska-punk (not like No Doubt’s weak efforts), The Living End, and any kind of quick rock music with strong messages. That said, the messages don’t really interfere with our musical enjoyment, this could serve just as well as party music than it could a serious listen for those of you out there who like politics with your punk (or indeed your table sauces – you know who you are!).
Fans of nu-metal may get confused by the actual musical ability and the concept of complaining (and swiftly getting over it) to music that sounds like the musicians had FUN doing it. That’s FUN. F-U-N, not F-U-N-D-S, Mr Durst! Doing it for the music my a$$, I guess those trendy clothes are the ones you always wore then, yes? And your celebrity girlfriends – all too common when growing up in Bakersfield, eh?***WHERE DO I GET THIS FROM?***
Like I say, HMV for £13.99 (though look out for it in their sales), Virgin for presumably the same price. Free Mp3s are nice, or Real Audio if you like that kind of thing – just go to the official record label site at this link: www.epitaph.com/bands/index.html?Id=86497 and reap the free stuff! This also features a big old biography, tour dates, videos and the like. Still, if shopping is more your thing, it’s £7.99 from Amazon.co.uk at the moment. Go!I love this CD, just like a puppy loves to piss in your slippers. This, thankfully, will last longer and does not reek. You’ve got nothing to lose by downloading the free MP3s from the official site, so if you don’t like ‘em – don’t buy it! This is one of my summer records, whack it on in the car park at the Reading festival and watch everyone gather round and dance like chumps who have drunk too much K cider.
They most probably have.Thanx for reading!
© P$ 2002~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Official website – www.rancidrancid.com - one annoying pop up window, quick loading, and great content, with the usual links to merchandise and MP3s, but also Rancid Radio, and some “tales from the 95008” – see for yourselves! Here be adult content - sailor words mainly, so look away kiddies whilst scary punk uncles say “f**k”. Most impressive full MP3s, a good selection from each album!Official record label website – as above, click to www.epitaph.com, it’s easy to navigate around and who knows? You may find a band you like there by accident!
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Utterly random links:
For more juvenile chuckles, hit www.zeta.org.au/~deecee/pope/popeger1.html. Well, I say “chuckles”… ah sod it, judge for yourself...
Product Information : And Out Come The Wolves - Rancid
Manufacturer's product description1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Epitaph - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 08/1995 - 8714092644425
Listed on Ciao since: 29/04/2001