Rancid - Rancid (EP) (Cover Artwork)


Rancid (EP) (1992)


After the break-up of Operation Ivy, two of that band's members, Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman, went on to form other bands, but ended up with the band Rancid with Brett Reed on drums. Later on, Lars Frederiksen would join the band, but this is before that. This is recorded in 1991, but released in 1992. Although this was recorded just two years after Operation Ivy broke up, this EP shows that the new band had a significantly different sound from the older bands. They had clearly moved on.

The sound of this self-titled EP is really similar to Rancid's first LP (which was also self-titled). This is very straightforward punk rock, with no ska tendencies or any other hints or fusions of other genres. Tim and Matt are sharing the vocal duties somewhat equally, both singing in their old snotty and shouting style. I'm really glad Matt sang a lot on this thing, because I find his voice amazing and really suiting to Rancid's songs. That is one of the things lacking in today's Rancid: Matt's singing. And I miss it.

Already from the beginning, Matt's signature bass playing is present. It is fast, diverse, and I think he really has one or two extra fingers. Tim's guitar playing is furious and angry, and with Brett's fast-paced drumming, this EP is one speedy, angry and energetic recording with not one pause from the intesity. The lyrics aren't too bad, either. "Idle Hands" is dealing with Tim's alcoholism, being homeless and hopelessly knocked down. "Media Controller" is about the general anti-mainstream. backstabbing businessmen and sell-out bands–you know, the general punk-themed song. In "Battering Ram", the band stresses how important it is to go your own way and that nothing should stop you doing what you want to. It is also arguably the best song of the EP, a classic Rancid song overall.

This EP was before Rancid sold out to a major label, before they took the punk out of punk rock regarding their own music, and before MTV couldn't get enough of them. If you liked the two first Rancid albums, then you will love this raw, intensity-filled EP. It will make you reminisce of a time when Rancid was a good band.