Rancid - Rancid (2000) (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Rancid (2000) (2000)


Alright, so first of all, let's just make it clear that this is the second self-titled Rancid album. I suppose this was just for the sake of confusion. That aside, this new record is aptly titled, since in a way, it returns to the roots of what Rancid was.

First, a quick history lesson for those who haven't been following the tumultuous career of this band. Rancid, was, by my thinking, formed from the ashes of Operation Ivy, arguably, one of the greatest bands to ever grace this planet. Tim "Lint" Armstrong, and Matt Freeman (credited as McCall in OpIvy for other reasons) were part of Operation Ivy, and they helped make Rancid what it was.

So the first record comes out. Little fanfare, nothing much. To be honest, it wasn't that spectacular a record, but it was better than average. The second record, Let's Go, however, changed everything. It was an amazing record, and it had the added bonus (or maybe negative) of being the next big thing after the overwhelming success of Green Day. It sold pretty well, and it's still my favourite Rancid record, but what happened next was insane.

And Out Come the Wolves... had tons of people donning mohawks, and discovering punk all over again. Sure, I think mohawks are a little cliche, and are the kind of backwards thinking that I don't feel belongs in punk anymore, but it was a sight to be at a Rancid show, all these people from 8 year old kids, to 40 year old parents with these mohawks, plaid pants and the whole deal. The record sold really well, and drew comparisons to the Clash's classic record, London Calling. So Rancid became a household name. What was weirder was what happened after that.

The next release, Life Won't Wait had Rancid dropping nearly all semblance of punk, and hitting more and more reggae and ska. It was well-recieved, but I didn't like it much at all, and I think a lot of fans were pretty disappointed. So, here we are, 7 years since their first, and other self-titled record, and Rancid is rediscovering itself, like it has done consistently for each record. It would have been easy for them to fall back on the formula that brought them so much success, or even falling back to older material, but instead they've moved into a whole other direction.

Rancid 2000, is a deft mix of hardcore, pop and even some melodic and timing similarities to ska, but the combination sounds like nothing they've done before. They've gone out on a limb here, and risk alienating a lot of their fans, but to be honest, this is one of their best. Matt spends half of his time screaming his lungs out, and so does Tim, but it's still catchy, and the songs (all 22 of them) sound unique, even though they've stuck to such a simple formula here.

The songs do have some melodic refrains, but a casual listener is going to dismiss this all as old school hardcore. Let me say this. This is not hardcore. This is not ska. This is not old school punk rock. This is not Operation Ivy. But one thing for sure, this is Rancid, and I like it.

Since most people think I go on and on when I'm writing a review of something I like, I'll throw a quick summary of the record. It's a definite progression, it's unique, and it sounds like very little I've heard this year. I like it, and I think, given the chance, a lot of people will like it too, but only if they get past what they think Rancid is. Go in with an open mind and you'll definitely dig this record.