Let's Go - Rancid

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Let's Go - Rancid

1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Epitaph - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 01/1995 - 8714092643428

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50% positive

2 reviews from the community

Review of "Let's Go - Rancid"

published 25/11/2005 | Flash-Hammer
Member since : 30/11/-0001
Reviews : 49
Members who trust : 0
About me :
Not for me
Pro Err, a few ok songs, they are great musicians.
Cons The majority of the songwriting is terrible, 90% of songs sound the same
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money
Lyrics

"Lets Go! Return this CD"

When I was 15 and hugely into the whole modern 'punk' scene, one of my favourite bands was Rancid. The first two albums of theirs I got were ...And out come the Wolves and Let's Go and I enjoyed them both to varying degrees. That year, the band's 5 album and second self titled record was released, which at the time I also enjoyed. Not too long afterwards, I eagerly tracked down the band's second record, and their first with guitarist Lars Fredericksen. This one I never really enjoyed. In fact, in some ways, it could be seen as one of the things that put me on my way off this type of music.

In case you dont know, Rancid are comprised of Guitarist/slurrer Tim Armstrong, who most notably went through a divorce with that Brody Dalle thing from the Distillers, Other Guitarist/Singer Lars Fredericksen, whose side Project was actually better than any Rancid album, Matt Freeman took charge of bass and Brett Reed was the drummin man. Pre-Lars the group had released their debut self titled record in the early 90s, and he joined the group shortly afterwards to begin work on their second long player, Lets Go. Released in 1994, around the same time as Green Day's Dookie, this was part of the new fangled 'punk revival' that took the fast guitar and three minute songs using three chords of punk of olde, but usually featured lyrics about drugs, girls and being a slacker, along with the occasional obligatory 'rebellion' tunes.

When I even look at the back cover of Let's Go now, I wonder what I was thinking. Along with the first song being called Nihilism, a word that its hard to find a review of a 70s punk album without, but also the cringe inducing photo of the band. Along with the over the top mohawks and heavy metal T-Shirts, Tim is giving the finger while they all strike hardman poses next to a car. Ooh, the rebels. Despite my disliking now for ...and Out come the Wolves, I do recognise, and applaud, the band's mastery of coming up with catchy hooks and funky guitar pieces. This is something that if you only listened to Let's Go, you wouldnt know.

Nihilism - This starts off ok, with a lovely bassline from Freeman and a decent, if decidedly average guitar riff. Even the first two singing parts, one from each frontman is decent, apart from the boring lyrics, but it isnt long before the song degenerates into the bland sound that anyone planning on listening to this record should plan on getting used to.

Radio - If there is anything that comes close to a good, or even great, song on the record this is it. It starts off slow and bursts into life, with lyrics telling of Tim falling in love with music. The man has a voice that constantly jumps between a drunk old man without his false teeth, and these songs just sound like he does it to sound 'different' and 'punk',and an honest slur, and these are where his singing shines. This is one of the latter occasions. Sadly, he also feels the need to spoil it by going over the top cause when that music hits/I feel no pain at all and trying the annoying 'ooh look at us we are nasty punk and not mainstream' needless use of the word f*cking in the buildup to the chorus. "here it is/here I am/turn it up f*cking loud". While it doesnt sound so bad in writing, his delivery of it annoys me. Speaking of the chorus, that is what stops the song from being great. The verses build up brilliantly, and the chorus is just a big let down. "Radio/Radio/Radio/Radio/Radio/Radio" from Lars. Poor. With a better chorus, this could have been an awesome song. But funnily enough, in its current state its one of the best songs on the record.

Sidekick - Despite being incredibly stupid lyrically, I have to admit to have a bit of a liking for this song. This is probably the only time on the record the band's knack for catchy tunes comes into view, in this absurd fantasy about being Wolverine's sidekick. Absurd because not only is Wolverine out helping the homeless against the government, but because he shoots several cops in the head. But given the fact that this song is actually really fun in a cheesy way, Im willing to let it off from too much criticism. Mainly because its the best song on this record.

Salvation - I hate this song. I really do. I was actually surprised to learn it was a radio hit for the band, because it is without a doubt one of the worst songs I have ever heard on any of their 4 albums I own. I cant quite pinpoint what I hate about it, because the whole thing is just horrible, from the forgettable verses, to the painful chorus and the bland tune, this is definitely not a highpoint in the band's career. Funnily enough though, the fact I dislike it so much to remember whats wrong with it sets it out from the majority of other songs from here onwards, most of which have almost blended into one horrible mess with a nice bassline in my head.

Tenderloin is just average. The only word for it. At least it has some pace to it, unlike the previous stinker. The title track is another uninspiring track, about being on the road I think, its repetitive chorus of "Let's Go" sung repeatedley gave me a sore head.
You see, from this point on, this applies to most tracks:

Uninspiring,standard skate-punk sound,irritating and poor lyrics, sounds identical to tracks before and after, but all of which feature some nice bass work

There are a few points of notice, 'The Ballad of Jimmy and Johnny' with its lyrics about the noble cause of Mods and punks shouldnt fight, but its handled in such a poor lyrical manner and given such an uninspiring generic tune that it could never work.

The bassline and chorus of 'Burn' actually standout as being especially effective in the case of the former, and at least more menacing and distinctive than the rest of the record in the case of the latter.
Name also stands out as having potential, with its shouted start and lyrics about being a faceless worker and part of the 'machine', and on another record, surrounded by better material, it might have been alright, but surrounded by the generic guff that it is, it sounds much better than it actually is.
7 Years down tackles Tim's problem with alcoholism and about the problems he faces as a punk, but once again makes it impossible to take seriously, due to his in your face attempt at looking like a rebel. they say f*ck you mohican/they call me a f*ggot and they shut me out/I dont give a f*ck/I never did
The rest of the songs just arent worth caring about. They all sound the same. While I may have pointed out specific songs for sounding bland, that it bland in the whole scheme of things. The rest of the songs sound like each other, which is just rubbish. The sad thing is, that the whole band do have musical talent, hell, Freeman might be the best bass player in the world, but he is the only consistent shower of talent. I wouldnt fault any of his bass work on the record, but it takes more than a bassline to make a song, and Tim and Lars just werent on form with this record. Chalk it down to not having gelled as a songwriting team yet or whatever you like, as it stands, they havent been able to come up with anything of note with this waste of time.

The whole record just stinks of trying to be as 'punk' as possible, and just failing miserably. While Im not that much of a fan nowadays, I will admit that the band are good at what they do. But this just isnt good. Unless you are a complete Rancid die-hard, I would give the record a miss. When people talk about all of this 'neo-punk' stuff sounding the same and being crap, this is a perfect example of what they mean.
The reason I only gave it the minimum score, despite praising a few aspects, is because out of 23 songs, one good song and too near good songs just dont warrant a high score

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Comments on this review

  • CowboyJunkie82 published 27/11/2005
    Another super review.
  • fabulous_girl published 26/11/2005
    Actually blushing as I remembered my punk loving days, a mere 5 years ago, aged 15 or so! Great review
  • Drone007 published 25/11/2005
    Another fantastic review - lots of info! Lee
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Product Information : Let's Go - Rancid

Manufacturer's product description

1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Epitaph - Distributor: ADA/Cinram Logistics - Released: 01/1995 - 8714092643428

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EAN: 8714092643428

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