A friend of mine in LA has been posting a lot of images of Rancid up on his Facebook feed recently for some reason and it’s had me thinking a lot about the band.
Rancid was the first punk rock band I really fell in love with. I remember picking up …And Out Come The Wolves on cassette, a bit after it’s release in 1995, only because the cover was so interesting to a twelve year old me. I remember gazing at the tape, wrapped tightly in cellophane, under the bright neon lights of my hometown’s Warehouse Music, and thinking, even though the person on the cover intimidated me, along with the spray paint and scratched out writing above and below him, that there was something on that tape I really wanted to hear.
"Maxwell Murder" opened the album up and for a first time punk listener, the song was a little hard to digest, but even then, I could appreciate that bass solo. But as the tape rolled on, I became more and more captivated by every song; the thick guitars, the heavy beat, and Tim, Lars, and Matt’s powerful stories of reckless youth, misfortune, and homelessness.
When I finally got to side 2 of the tape and heard “Old Friend,” that was the song I would rewind and listen to over and over again until that part of the tape pretty much wore out. The tune was bitter sweet, punchy, and even though Lars’s guitar solo is one of the simplest, oldest rock and roll solos in the book, it felt climactic every time he rolled in and played it. Many mornings and evenings that year were spent alone, in my room, dancing to that song, and to this day, almost twenty years later, it remains a big favorite of mine by the band.
More information on Rancid can be found at their Facebook and official site. Many of Rancid’s releases can be picked up directly through the band at their own official webstore.