Rancid - Life Won't Wait (Cover Artwork)


Rancid: Life Won't WaitLife Won't Wait (1998)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: ChrisGorman2Chris Gorman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In 1998, Rancid released "Life Won't Wait" to mixed reactions. Critics hailed it as best punk album of the year, while many fans found the record long-winded and too ska/reggea heavy. I don't consider this Rancid's crowning achievement, but I don't consider it their worst work either. It's an over.
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In 1998, Rancid released "Life Won't Wait" to mixed reactions. Critics hailed it as best punk album of the year, while many fans found the record long-winded and too ska/reggea heavy. I don't consider this Rancid's crowning achievement, but I don't consider it their worst work either. It's an overbloated piece of work that contains much of the bands best and worst work.

The album starts off strong after a spoken intro, with the songs "Bloodclot", "Hoover Street", "Black Lung", and "Life Won't Wait". Track 6, "New Dress", is personally my favorite Rancid song ever. It's not until about track 11, titled "Backslide" that the album begins to lose some steam. Songs like "Cash, Culture and Violence" and "Lady Liberty" are great, but here, they only seem to clutter things up. By the time the CD winds it way to a great finish with "Corazon De Oro" and "Coppers", many listeners will have dozed off or simply lost interest.

The main problem with this disc is cohesion. Aside from the aforementioned gratuitous length, Tim, Lars and co. attempt to pull a Clash, and mingle reggea and punk tunes in the mix with more straight up punk songs. Their ska/Reggea songs are great, but for whatever reason, they feel out of place on this disc. Where "And Out Come the Wolves" successfully mixed in a couple of ska songs with the dominant punk sound, "Life Won't Wait" gains and loses energy, and simply just tries to hard to have the best of both worlds. You can't blame a band for trying to broaden their sound and experiment, as a matter of fact, I applaud them for it. I just think that it would have been possible to achieve better results.

To conclude, some of the bands best work is on here. "Bloodclot", "Corazon De Oro", "Hooligans", "New Dress", "Life Wont Wait" and "Coppers" are all Rancid classics. Sadly, the record contains some of the bands worst work as well. In short, they aimed for "London Calling" but missed and hit "Sandinista!" instead.


People who liked this also liked:
Rancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesThe Clash - London CallingRancid - Let's GoOperation Ivy - Operation IvyRancid - Rancid (2000)Descendents - Milo Goes To CollegeNOFX - Punk In DrublicNOFX - The DeclineThe Clash - The ClashRancid - Rancid (1993)

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
HometownLoser (October 24, 2010)

The absolute best. I have heard everything they have over, and over again. The Wolf is great.

nedsammy (May 30, 2010)

fuck you, this is one of the best. quality songs, lyrics, musicians and production, and full of stuff that is obviously explosive when played live.

Anonymous (August 2, 2007)

they aimed for "London Calling" but missed and hit "Sandinista!" instead.

More like they aimed for "Sandinista!" but missed and hit "Cut the Crap."

Poison_Operation (August 21, 2005)

This is probably my second favorite Rancid album (Rancid 2000 gets the "Favorite Rancid Album" honor). It did take a while for the album to grow on me, but once it did, it didn't leave the ol' player for two months straight, and even now, it stills gets playing time on a pretty regular basis.

You can tell that Rancid is definitely influenced by the Clash in this album (as well as their other records), which isn't a bad thing. If you're going to have influences, you might as well be influenced by the best.


sydslovebuzz (September 20, 2004)

ive never in my life heard any Rancid Music. why? because all the rancid fans that i know, all have that "im more punk than you" attitude to them. so i never bother to even listen to them. im gonna ask a friend to burn me a copy but i dont care about what people say but im stuck in the past. buzzcocks and the clash for me. i like some modern punk like The explosion (flashx3)... but yea every time i tell people that.... they always say ..punk is dead. you're stuck in the 70s. i dont care i like what i listen to. i dont care if i listen to classic punk. its all i know i love it. it appeals to me. its simple, hark working and i relate to it. Rancid?? im not sure i guess i have to find out but honestly i think i wont just because i hold true to the clash. SANDINISTA. i know i know not thier best album but it is thier most revolutionary..people say it sucks but its funny cause the clash always thought of it as they're best work. hahaha.

Anonymous (October 10, 2003)

I don't care, this is their best.

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

Know what I hate? . . .
(the answer is Rancid)

Don't feel too bad if you like Rancid, you don't know any better - you're stupid (and probably ugly)

That's the gist

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

Any fool who can't recognize the beauty in an album like this, should not even bother listening to it. What about 1998? Are you people off your rockers. It just doesn't get any more punk rock than that. Why is it so important that an album be one particular style. Why can't the beauty of songs just be appreciated on their own right. Of course, I will be the first to admit that when a band completly changes their tune and sounds completely different, it can be a tough adjustment but I am grateful that bands take the time and intelligence to fully maximize their musical potential instead of just staying stuck in on particular style or groove if you will. Why do bands always have to be compared to other bands? If two people in one band played in Op Ivy, then wouldn't you think that some of their music would have a ska influence to it. Perhaps some dub as well. Anyone who can't comprehend that possibility is a mental midget. Anyway, fuck not recognizing 1998. That song takes it. This is not necessarily directed at the review but to all the sniveling peeps who can't handle a little diversity in their music.

cawknocker (August 2, 2002)

this album tried alittle to hard to be the clash's london calling album. but it kciks ass. my second fav. only to 'wolves'. and damn close to that. fuckin brilliant variety and experimentation. corozon de oro, coppers, hoover st., bloodclot,hooligans,new dress,warsaw are all some of the best songs they've ever written.i guess if u don't like reggae you wouldnt like much of this album. well fuck u. go listen to the s/t albums or lets go. this album was rancid wanting to expand and fully embrace theyre song writing ability. its to bad their fans had to shit on it causing theyre reactionary s/t album which only had one sound to it. i like it but fuck. this album is pure musicianship.

eric2guns (May 18, 2002)

This is an amazing album. I always listen to Out Come the Wolves, and I think its the best Rancid album. then I listen to Rancid 2000 and think it is the best one, and then I listen to Life Won't Wait and think it is the best. I will never know which one is the best. Rancid is a very talented band. they can be hard and smooth at any given moment, or at the same time. Tim and Lars both have unique and incredible voices. Their lyrics are always top notch. This song is full of catchy, meaningful tunes. I don't mind all the reggea on this album because they are a very good reggae band. If you can't dig a wide variety of music then you should probably grow up. Once you can execpt more than just hardcore you should buy this album right away. It is mind blowing. How can you listen to "hoover Street" and say that it sucks?

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

Life Won't Wait is an attempt to capture the Clash's legendary London Calling and Sandinista period. Hell, there is even a song that mentions Sandinista. This album does not work right away but after a few listens it starts to grow on you. This album is influenced by so many great styles and Rancid play them so well. I would like to see tem do another album like this than the one that came after Life Won't Wait.

Anonymous (January 27, 2002)

Its funny how whenever a crappy emo band puts out something "progressive", they're hailed as geniuses, but when a real band like Rancid tries something different the critic gives 'em a 5. Come on.

Anonymous (December 10, 2001)

krowdsurf, that was probably the most intelligent thing anyone has said on this review. Thanks for that. I agree, that Rancid reinvent themselves with each album, they never go stale or beat a style to death. Like I said in the review, some of the music on here is the best they have done, I just find this to be inferior to other Rancid albums. Like their musical heroes, the Clash, each Rancid album is filled with plenty of redeeming value, even if I find this one kind of drawn out and over-reaching.


Anonymous (December 10, 2001)

This album is bomb. I'm a huge Rancid fan. I really can't think of any other band that has experimented with it's sound this much and yet still leaves me able to classify every single album as great. Personally, I'm a big fan of ska-punk and reggae and I was thrilled to hear those genres represented so heavily on this album. Buju Banton has always, in my mind, been the best reggae DJ alive and the fact that Rancid chose to work with him on Life Won't Wait further illustrates how in tune they are with what is going on with music in general, not just what's within their "genre." With each record shifting in style so heavily from the last it's easy to understand why there is such a discrepancy in how people perceive them. There is, however, no denying that Rancid is full of talented musicians who have no fear of experimenting or reinventing themselves. I love this CD to death, and I think if you are open minded to all forms of music, and not just die-hard loyal to one genre, you will at least appreciate this album even if it doesn't immediately appeal to your tastes.......krowdsurf

Anonymous (December 10, 2001)

To the person who posted below: This is not even close to one of the best albums of all time. People, stop jumping to stupid conclusions like that. I mean yeah, its an opinion, your entitled to have one, but come on, one of the best all time? This isn't even Rancid's best. This is not on a par with albums like "Who's Next" "London Calling" "Sgt. Peppers", etc.

Anonymous (December 10, 2001)

This is not only Rancid's best CD, but one of the best CDs of all time. Rancid will never top this CD - in fact I don't think they will ever try.

Anonymous (December 8, 2001)

actually, it's pretty good, but it sucks compared to rancid's other albums

Anonymous (December 8, 2001)

RADIO is an amazing song..

StevieSaintPaul (December 8, 2001)

to all the ladies and fellas that liked this cd:
Did you ever have one of those "punk" friends that thought they were either too "cool" or even worse ( gasp! ) too "punk" to buy a Rancid album after And Out Come The Wolves? Doesn't that "suck"? I hate that shit. Fuck 'em. If it wasn't for Rancid and that fucking Ruby Soho video on Mtv some of those people wouldn't even be listening to this stuff.
I was so upset I analyzed myself just to prove that I wasn't going fucking nuts:

"Stevie, is Life Won't Wait better than ....Come The Wolves?"
" BULLSHIT! That's blasphemy and you know it!"
"Take my word on it, it's better!"

"Isn't there too much ska on it?"
" BULLSHIT! Theres never too much ska on anything"

" You must be joking. You fucking poser! You idolize Tim Armstrong!"
"No, I idolize Lou Reed and Woody Allen... and it's Lint! It's fucking Lint!"

"Fuck you. You do reviews on this site like you get paid for it. You do too many ska reviews anyway. People hate you. Not only do you suck but so does you're cd collection...wait, whats this? The How Stella Got Her Groove Back soundtrack? Blasphemy!"
"That's not mine."

"But it's here. It has to be yours."
" It's my ex girlfriend's."

" You're pathetic. You're ex girlfriend took all her stuff back. You loser... Stop writing shitty reviews."

and then there was silence. The wonderful chorus of Black Lung spun swiftly in my head. I took some Librium, and everything turned out all cheery-like. -stevie

Anonymous (December 7, 2001)

To me, there is no greater Rancid album. I think the reason is in the fact that they did spend so much time working on this, and it really comes off in a sense that they begin to pour themselves onto this record. Over the summer of 1998, this was my life basically. It was the soundtrack to everyhting I did (I spent my first ever summer in Cali) and it just all made sense to me. I am not sure that any specific album will be able to bring me back to a certain time and place as well as this one can. God I love Rancid...

Anonymous (December 5, 2001)

This album is fuckin great!!!
That's what I call an intellignet punk cd. The songs are very inspired but Lady Liberty sucks. The other songs are all excellent. Rancid fuckin rock! What they make always sounds fuckin great and it's always different. Look the difference between Life won't wait and Rancid 2000 and you'll un derstand me. Sorry for my bad english, I speak french and I'm from Quebec. QUEBEC FUCKIN ROCKS!

Anonymous (December 5, 2001)


Anonymous (December 5, 2001)

and jesusfied

Anonymous (December 5, 2001)

or wacktastic

Anonymous (December 5, 2001)

this album is what you would call 'homoerotic'.

Anonymous (December 5, 2001)

Sorry bud, but you're pretty wrong. This album is fucken great and Warsaw is definetly one of the highlights... how can you not want to dance to that?

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

f*** off and die.

"i like food...food tastes good..."

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

LWW is indeed a great album. It shows they can play more than just straight ahead punk or ska. And their live show is great, every time I've seen them it has been. They can play anywhere and pull off a good show,(Ive seen them from the Wetlands(NY) in '95 to Randalls Island(NY) this summer. I don't know if they'll ever play a tiny club again, but if you ever get a chance to see them in a small club, do so, then try to say they're performance is nothing special.

sXe_nick (December 4, 2001)

Blue meanies the post wave deserved the score it got! they are an amazing band.

CallingLondon (December 4, 2001)

great review.

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

I never be a great rancid fans, they have great song but with Life won't wait I find them Fucking boring, to slow for me but there's exception, 1998 if fucking great song but for the the rest of the record is just boring. And for there live show, nothing great


Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

Sorry Chris for your last name. I understand your point for the rating of your review. Each one had a different opinion and it's important to respect that, but for me "Life won't wait" is the most accomplished album of Rancid. For your information, I did listen to Blue Meanies "Post Waves", it's very original but not so extaordinary. Like I said it takes all sorts to make a world.

- Justin

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

My favourite Rancid album.

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

To the guy below me, at least spell my name right if you are going to bash my review. I explained once, and I will explain again, that I hold Rancid to much higher standards than bands like DHC, Bif Naked, etc. I could just review any Rancid album, and give it a 10, just because it is better than most anything else reviewed on here besides the Clash and a few others. Instead, I choose to review them based on the assumption that what they put out is great, but just how great (FOR THEM) is it? I would call that logical. By the way, that Blue Meanies "Post Wave" album is phenomenal, I suggest you listen to it, it is really, really good.


Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

Come on Mr.Gordan, I take a look to your previous reviews and i saw that you give more star to shitty album like Bif Naked "I Bificus", Save Ferris "Modified", Blue Meanies "Post Waves" or Dance Hall Crashers "Purr" ! Please be logical for god's sake !

Anonymous (December 4, 2001)

One of the greatest punk album of all times !

- Louis

ethan (December 4, 2001)

Life won't wait is a long album, but it doesn't get boring. For me, out come the wolves starts getting boring about halfway through but life won't wait keeps up the interest, and the fact that they mix so much stuff in there really helps. Granted, not every song on their is top notch, but nothing really stands out as particularly bad.

'they aimed for "London Calling" but missed and hit "Sandinista!" instead' - yeah, but that's a good thing.

Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

I hold Rancid to pretty high standards. If this was a record by some other band, I would give it a higher score. I love Rancid to death, so this record sort of disappointed me. Maybe its unfair to hold them to different standards than other bands, but I do, because I know they are capable of a lot. So to say that I am full of shit...well, thats your opinion. Perhaps you should review the record.


sXe_nick (December 3, 2001)

wow, you actually gave this cd a 5. You are full of shit to give the cd that has your favorite rancid song on it a 5. This cd has somthing for everyone. It is fantastic my 3rd fav. rancid cd.

Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

The first S/T is the best in my opinion. Fast, furious and catchy as hell. This album kinda bored me.


Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

"1998" fuckin rules

-Sr. Potpourri

Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

I think the first S/T is the worst, but that doesn't mean much. I like this band a hell of a lot, so saying what is their worst release is really just saying what is my least favorite release.


Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

this question is to the author of the review - i'm just curious which album of rancid's do you think is the worst? there's some good stuff on here but all and all i find it disapointing.


woo hooo - only a few more days till the f-minus/crack rock steady split!

sickboi (December 3, 2001)

Hell yeah. Best Rancid album, period. This album showcases every style they've ever had, to perfection. To this day, "Hooligan" remains one of my favorite Rancid song. Buju Banton is an incredible addition on this album as well.

Anonymous (December 3, 2001)

Best Rancid album ever.

adam (December 3, 2001)

This album means alot to me and I'm not sure why exactly... It was torn apart by everyone when it was released, I picked it up almost a year later and something about it keeps growing on me. Maybe it was because at the show I saw on Rancid's last tour they played lots of Life Wont Wait stuff. The crowd was into "Hoover St" and "Black Lung" with just as much enthusiasm as "Roots Radicals" and other staples. Maybe it was when Lars (without the rest of the band) screamed out "The Wolf" and the whole venue shouting along, sans music...Despite your opinion of this album, the fact that Rancid followed up the hugely popular "Wolves" with more or less an experamental album was a ballsy move... making music for music's sake and not trying to reproduce their success...

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