Rancid - Life Won't Wait (Cover Artwork)


Life Won't Wait (1998)


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.