Thursday, August 20, 2015

...and out come the wolves

Rancid rummaged through radical roots reggae and rockabilly revivalism to find their destination in this tattooed time bomb.  Childhood friends Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman played in punk bands around Berkeley like Operation Ivy, Downfall,  Generator, and Dance Hall Crashers before forming Rancid,    Armstrong remembers:  "A good friend of mine who had been in bands for a long time asked me who my two closest friends were. He then told me that was who I should start a band with. It didn't matter how good they were or if they had any chops. It was more about getting together with homies that I wanted to hang out with. I thought about it and realized that I already had Matt, who happens to have chops and is an incredible bass player, and Brett (Reed), who played drums. Lars (Frederiksen) joined about a year later, and we clicked immediately."

After they released their self-titled debut EP was released on Lookout! Records in 1992, the group was signed to Epitaph Records.    'Rancid' came out in 1993 and 'Let's Go' in 1994 (with indie hit "Salvation").  That same year Rancid toured with label mates Offspring and started to catch the attention of several major labels; but they decided to stick with Epitaph for their next album.   Lars Frederiksen reveals:   "Everything you can possibly imagine happened  We were like, 'Whoa, this is crazy.' We're just a blue-collar punk band. We just want to make records and play our music, and there was all this other bullshit going on. But I'm glad that we all went through the shit. We went to the wall and came back...You learn just who your friends are, and you see people's motives. We went back to Epitaph because we knew they loved us as people first and foremost. With Brett Gurewitz we're more than some account on a ledger somewhere, we're part of a family...This is the only time I've ever experienced unconditional love and acceptance in my life, just by these three guys. We put our friendship and our family above music and whatever else."

'...And Out Come The Wolves' was produced and mixed by Jerry Finn with engineers Brett Gurewitz and Michael Rosen.  The sessions at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California and Electric Lady Studios in New York City featured  Tim Armstrong on vocals and guitar;   Lars Frederiksen on guitar and vocals;   Matt Freeman on bass, guitar, and backing vocals;   and  Brett Reed on drums;   with   Bashiri Johnson on percussion;   DJ Disk on scratching;   Paul Jackson on Hammond organ;  and  Jim Carroll doing guest vocals on "Junkie Man" (which gives the album its title).

Frederiksen also did the album cover art:   "We're really on a role creatively.  We wrote forty songs for the album and we've already written twenty more since. The last two records were really hard, fast records, but this time we're mixing things up. Ska, punk rock, and reggae all have the same feel, the same soul, and we just love the music. We're a gut instinct band, and it just felt right to do this stuff now."

Armstrong asserts:  "Punk rock is rebel music.  So is reggae music. They both go against the norm and make their own rules. I've always loved music like punk, rock and roll, and ska, which to me has a similar sound to punk. I love bands like the Specials, the Ramones and The Who."

'...And Out Come The Wolves'  clawed its way to number eighty-nine in the Netherlands,  fifty-five in the UK,  forty-five in the US,  thirty-nine in Sweden,  thirty in Austria and Finland,  twenty-seven in Canada.    It has been certified gold.

"Roots Radicals" broke into the top thirty of the US alternative  chart.

"Time Bomb" was a top ten hit on the Canadian and US alternative singles charts.

"Ruby Soho" went to number thirteen on the US alternative chart and number nine on the Canadian alternative chart.

'...And Out Come The Wolves' 
full album:

All songs written and composed by Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman and Lars Frederiksen, except where noted.

0:00 - Maxwell Murder
1:25 - The Eleventh Hour  (Armstrong, Freeman, Frederiksen, Eric Dinn)
3:53 - Roots Radical
6:40 - Time Bomb
9:04 - Olympia WA.
12:35 - Lock, Step & Gone
15:00 - Junkie Man  (Armstrong, Freeman, Frederiksen, Jim Carroll)
18:05 - Listed M.I.A
20:27 - Ruby Soho
23:05 - Daly City Train
26:25 - Journey to the End of the East Bay
29:37 - She's Automatic
31:12 - Old Friend
34:05 - Disorder and Disarray
36:55 - The Wars End
38:48 - You Don't Care Nothin'
41:17 - As Wicked
43:57 - Avenues & Alleyways
47:09 - The Way I Feel

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