Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Rancid

Rancid- ……And Out Come The Wolves

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about that sneaker company blatantly stealing the cover art of the Minor Threat discography, right? Everyone was totally pissed and bombarded the company with incensed emails and phone calls, forcing the corporate giant to fucking APOLOGIZE TO DISCHORD. What an amazing moment that was.

The reason I mention this, of course, is because the cover Rancid’s ‘….And Out Come The Wolves’ swipes the same artwork (except that the dude on the Rancid album cover has a mohawk). I’m sure you remember all the outrage when the album dropped, the angry kids picketing Epitaph, boycotting Rancid shows, refusing to wear their studded leather jackets, pouring their made-in-California 40’s down the sewer drains of college towns all over this great land of ours.

I’m just playin’. There was no uproar. Hell, there was hardly so much as a hiccup when the album was released. There’s a few possible reasons for the relative lack of attention. Pick all that apply:

A) The shoe company is the model of big business and nasty ethics, the complete antithesis of Dischord, Minor Threat and everything the punk scene (if you will) stands for. Rancid is a band that is made up of a bunch of dudes, lifers all, who have got some impressive names on their family trees- U.K. Subs, Downfall, Operation Ivy. Dudes and bands who have struggled and suffered to get to where they are. Homage and endorsement by silence.

B) The kids (you know, THE KIDS) are a bunch of idiots with no regard for the past. None of ‘em noticed because no one listens to Minor Threat any more- they skip right to like Alkaline Trio.

C) Everyone was so blown away by the collection of songs on the record- nineteen of ‘em, to be exact- and their anthemic, melodic punk-pop/oi/core perfection that no one gave a good shit about the album cover. Seriously, out of the nineteen songs, a good fifteen of ‘em are bona fide singalongs, the kind that get all the kids to dance in circles in the pit. Rancid’s an amazing band in their ability to unite seemingly disparate factions of the punk scene. They’re rooted enough in history to get the crusties, oi enough to get the shaved head bracer set, poppy enough to get the Lookout! geeks to come to the show. Hell, all this after having a bunch of videos on MTV, an occasion that usually serves as a lightning rod for talk of selling out, etc.

D) I hate Rancid, they suck. They’re even worse than Maelstrom, if that’s possible.

E) None of the above.

Rancid- Indesctructable

It’s a complete shame that Rancid (and, for that matter, NOFX) get relegated to the space in people’s heads reserved for like skateboarders and BMX kids. The band’s name gets mentioned, and people just think “Warped Tour” and move onto the next thing. Fact of the matter is that Rancid always releases these albums that are tough, varied and excellent, seldom repeating themselves even though the ground they tread is familiar enough. They’re a franchise at this point in their careers.

On second thought, I guess I can understand the whole Warped Tour thing, them getting lumped in. I guess I meant that pretty much everyone I know either had a skateboard/BMX phase or hung out with someone who did. Hopefully, mentioning the tour isn’t dismissive.

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