Rancid -- ... And Out Come The Wolves

(Epic)

Written for the Village Voice 1995 Pazz & Jop Poll

I thought that mohawks looked stupid in 1977, in 1995, they're beyond lame. For years, I've been avoiding bands that "looked" punk -- my favorite punk bands from Television to X to the Replacements to Nirvana were always derided by the anarchy sheep that made up the hardcore subculture. Beyond that, not only can I play "Spot the Clash Influence" on just about every single song on this record, if I concentrate hard enough, I can tell from which moment on which Clash song they are stealing. And so what? Unlike the Pistols or Buzzcocks or even the Jam, the Clash weren't ever copied that much -- they were too eclectic, even from the start. I couldn't even tell you what Rancid's other records sound like -- my guess is closer to by-the-numbers hardcore than this great record, which uses its historical perspective to take ska rhythms for granted instead as a change of pace, and like its forefathers The Clash (you can bet they own both versions) and Give 'Em Enough Rope (though not London Calling), it's catchy as hell, and never lets up, not even for a second.

--Jim Connelly

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This document created 13 August 2001
I was listening to Wilco -- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot