I Was A Teenage Punk

Today’s Choose My Music was picked by a man known only to me as @Geek_Tone. His random selection was F:B:15 which has lead me to this selection.

Rancid – Rancid
Released: 1993
Purchase Link: Amazon

Now, for the sake of order and my own sanity, I should point out that there are two self titled Rancid albums – this is the original which was released in 1993.

I really do not think it is possible to underestimate the influence and affect Rancid had on me during my latter teenage years. Being born in the summer of 1979 I missed out on the original Punk scene by a considerable amount of years. Rancid were perhaps the first true alternative bands I got in to.

I was introduced to the Californian group by Mike Hartley, he was the guitarist of my 2nd band Arctic Space-Man. I had already got into the Pistols, Clash and various other original punk bands but he played me a tape with the track Ruby Soho on it (from their 3rd album ….And Out Comes The Wolves) and I was instantly hooked.

Sadly our band sounded nothing like Rancid, and it wasn’t for another 5 years or so until I set up my very short lived punk band Chunk, but more about that later.

Rancid played a huge part in the resurgence of punk in the mid 1990s, along with Green Day and Offspring, yet unlike the other two bands, Rancid showed their true punk colours by releasing all their early albums on independent labels (Lookout, Epitaph and Hellcat, which is owned by singer/guitarist Tim Armstrong)

Armstrong and bass player Matt Freeman originally played together in cult underground band Operation Ivy. When they split up in 1989, Armstrong suffered with homelessness brought on through alcohol addiction. The story goes that Matt Freeman stumbled upon him one day and took him in to help him get clean – it was out of this act of friendship that Rancid was formed. Tim has credited this as saving his life.

This was the first of Rancid’s 7 albums they have released to this point, all with virtually the same line up. For their 2nd release, ‘Lets Go’ a year later in 1994 they recruited Lars Fredrickson from UK Subs. The position was originally offered to Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day fame, who would often play live with the band during their formative years, but he turned down the offer to concentrate on breaking his own band.

Sadly, I have found myself over the years drifting away from Rancid. Their 2003 album Indestructible was panned by some of their fan base, not helped by them recruiting Kelly Osborne and members of Blink 182 to appear in the video for the single ‘Fall Back Down’. Also Rancid decided to use Warner Brothers to distribute the album, they would only do so on the condition it had a parental advisory sticker on the front….for true hardcore punk fans this small detail is a big no no.

Even sadder still is upon the release of their 2009 album Let The Dominoes Fall, I actually found myself cringing at some it it during my first listen – and I haven’t played it again since.

I am not sure if I have outgrown Rancid, or if they have outgrown me.

As for my punk band Chunk? Well we were always pretty bad – there exists on MiniDisc the only live recording of the group ever – which was a horrible gig in Newcastle Under Lyme (which we blagged the promoter saying we were a well established local band, when in truth we had never played a gig) – we were generally abused by a pissed up old man, who you can hear at one point in the recording asking us if we knew “any good ones”. I guess the world wasn’t ready for songs like “All My Friends Are Shit”….ahhhh…happy memories .

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