|Well, we’re getting down to it now guys. In what looks to be a certain member’s last of the inaugural picks, this Tuesday kicks off with:Rancid-Life Won’t Wait
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Won%27t_WaitHere’s the playlist. I haven’t listened to it all yet, and wouldn’t know what it should sound like if I had, so if there are any problems (beyond the usual intermittent skipping that sometimes happens) someone more knowledgeable please let me know.
http://grooveshark.com/#/playlist/Rancid+life+Won+t+Wait/58885628I’m going to try to add another album to the (more or less) official site today and also, if you’ve got some picks already in mind to keep this thing going, please let me know. I’d rather be adding them as they’re thought of and that way it’s easier to keep organized and avoid duplicates, so don’t hesitate!
|Rancid – Life Won’t Wait: 4 starsPrecon: Late 80’s/early 90’s hardcore punk? I think my brother used to listen to them so I’ve probably heard a few songs.
Favorite Track: Crane Fist, everything but the vocals on the verses
Obnoxious opening but that’s probably what they were going for.
|Preconceptions: I’ve only heard of Rancid because I went through a pop-punk phase from high school to college and Rancid was one of those bands, along with Social Distortion, that basically every one of those bands listed as an “influence”. I have a feeling they’re a little more hardcore than any of the bands I’ve listened to.Hoover St.-way more relaxed than I expected from this band.
Life Won’t Wait- the reggae influence is super heavy here. Maybe I’ve had misconceptions about punk the whole time, thinking all of it sounded like The Sex Pistols. But I’m not a fan of the constant repetition.
Cocktails-I like the prevalence of the harmonica on this song.
The Wolf-I enjoyed the surf-music style guitar breakdown in the middle.
1998-I’m certain, although we did talk about The Monkees some last week, that I hear some of their song “Valerie” in part of the chorus.
Lady Liberty-I wish that was a stand up bass on this one, maybe it is. More of a Rockabilly feel on this one.
Corazon De Oro-I like the Spanish name title, but if you’re going to go that far, why not throw in some Spanish intruments or even a mariachi feel. This seems like either a deliberate mislead or a missed opportunity.
After Listening: The good news is that Rancid doesn’t sound like I thought they would. This album on the whole is nowhere near as heavy as I thought it would be. That’s not to say that it doesn’t up the ante on some songs, but I mean, in general, I expected more anger, or at least, more angry vocals, I think. That being said, I didn’t love the vocals as they stand. I don’t like the fact that none of the words seem to be finished, they’re just kind of hanging there and slurred stupor, when the angrier harmony isn’t taking over. This isn’t an album that’s got a storefront in my alley though. There were a couple of songs that had different sounds to them, but on the whole, most were similar, and the repetitive nature of most of the choruses began to wear after a while. If there had been fewer tracks this wouldn’t have been a problem, but I think the album goes one for about 5 tracks too many, despite the under-3-minute nature of them. In small doses I could handle Rancid, like on a mix tape or something, but I don’t think I’ll be doing a full album for a while.
|Preconceived Notions: I don’t know much about these guys, apart from the few songs that I’ve heard really don’t appeal to me. Are they punk? Hardcore? Don’t really remember so we get to find out…I suspect it will hurt.After Listening: It’s funny, because while these guys seem to fall under that punk label, I hear a lot of mimicness of rock anthem styles (and ska, and reggae) on this record. Certainly most of their tempos, breakdowns, and choruses mirror rock song structure. Heck it might only be the vocals and lyrical content that prevent this from crossing that border into pop punk. Musically this is sort of a snooze button affair….I wanted to hear more of those “cut loose” high intensity riffs and they just weren’t happening. Some of the songs are catchy enough to not become stale, particularly those where the bass is prominent, but too often for me the album wanders into reggae influences and repetitiveness. In fact, I’m pretty sure this album could’ve been 5 songs and it would’ve said everything it had to say (at least musically). Considering there are like a hundred songs on here – repetition should have been one of the chief concerns, unfortunately the formula is underway and unchanged for over half of the thing. I do like the attempts to use samples on the record as both their own tracks, and intros on songs (cf Crane First) –it’s an effort at least to frame things a new way…ultimately it’s not nearly enough…but I appreciate the effort.
Favorite Tracks: “New Dress” – Starts off with a Beatlesque guitar line, and then gets taken over by a poppy bass. The walking bass line and the multivoiced vocal backing really pull the song along. Still there’s some nice drumming on this – it’s so nice to hear solid downbeats on this record J
Least Favorite Tracks – “Hooligans” – Just generic and clichéd ska. Nothing redeeming.
Overall 2.7 This didn’t hurt as bad as I feared it would. To me though, this is pretty much the definition of an average album. They do mix in rock, reggae, ska- and I guess “punk” so they were trying at least musically to branch out. But to me it just gets bogged down in a lot of the same old clichés – and honestly if they changed the lyrics many of the songs on this album could be Bosstones or Madness or someone in that ska/pop realm. It has catchy parts which are undeniable, I was just too often looking at the track time and waiting for the next track – only to find more of nearly the exact same tune.
|Rancid – Life Won’t WaitPreconceptions: I own this album, have listened to it only a couple of times, I like it, although I’m not much of a Rancid fan.
After Listening: What I appreciate about this record is that I sense a lot of effort and heart-and-soul in it. It really weaves together the bands influences very well, and I like the collaborations with true Jamaican musicians, as well as musicians I respect, such as Vic Ruggiero—who I never realized had such a strong hand in this album. You can hear his influence very distinctly in certain songs, especially Wrongful Suicide, which sounds very much like it could be a Slackers song. So, in all I would say that I like this album and would listen again some time down the line.
Favorites: Bloodclot, The Wolf, Wrongful Suicide… I guess
Overall: 4 stars
|Rancid – Life Won’t WaitPrecon- My pick, and one of my favorite albums.
Favorite tracks- Hooligans reminds me of my late nights drinking, fighting, and breaking things with the Hellbound boys and Dirtbag Massive. Life Won’t Wait featuring Vic Ruggerio and a post-homophobia/pre-conviction Buju Banton. Warsaw, despite Tim’s muddy enunciation. Who Would Have Thought were my exact words when the ring slipped on my finger last October, Lady Liberty acknowledges the Clash’s influence on the band, and Wrongful Suspicion which is basically a Slackers song with Tim Armstrong.
Overall: Rancid’s last album for Epitaph closed the door on the 1990s with their best work. Guests like Linval & Roddy Radiation from 2Tone band The Specials, Dr Israel on Coppers, The Bosstones’ Dicky Barrett on Cash Culture & Violence , Greg Lee & Alex Desert on Hoover Street, and Agnostic Front’s Roger Miret on Something in the World Today all help Rancid break out of Berkley with a distinctly NYC meets Kingston sound. As usual, Matt Freeman’s bass stands out musically while Lars and Tim play Good Cop/Mumbling Cop on vocals.