The last two albums by old-style punk band Rancid (... "And Out Comes the Wolves" and "Life Won't Wait") saw them exploring different styles, tempos and ways to incite riots. But while "Life" was the product of a year-long process that involved experimentation and multiple-location tracking, the band's new, self-titled album (and fifth overall) sounds like there was no time to screw around.
If the previous album was The Clash, this one's screaming Minor Threat. It's as if guitarists/songwriters Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen came home from tour, turned on the television and got really, really pissed. That sense of urgency and protest is evident on nearly every track. "Rigged on a Fix" flips the bird to manipulative TV shows; "It's Quite Alright" proclaims that it will take until the end of the world to make things right; and "Rattlesnake" calls out poser bands with the refrain, "You've got no passion, it's all fashion." The question is not "Who is Rancid dissing" but "Who aren't they dissing? That's what makes Rancid so essential.