Say what you want, there’s a part of me that takes pleasure in those 90’s punk-like bands like the Offspring, Green Day and Rancid. Wait. Maybe it’s not even fair to lump Rancid in with those other guys. Well, whatever. I love ’em, no matter what the purists might say.
This record is the one Rancid album I love from top to bottom and know every word. Every track is solid and banging, alternating between in your face punk rock and swinging ska. Armstrong’s vocals are suitable shredded and shitty, a calling card in the best Shane MacGowan tradition indeed, and Frederickson’s bass is so restlessly all over every track, it’s tiring! There are huge hits here too, like Roots Radicals, Time Bomb, Olympia, W.A., and Ruby Soho, and there’s a ton of other tracks that should have been huge too. Not a bad one in the bunch. Jim Carroll even turns up, on Junkieman (fitting, since that’s where the album title came from, don’t you know. Of course you did).
Anybody who owns this, or has in the past, will know what I mean. As close to perfection as they ever came – and that’s saying something, since all of their records are worthy of very high praise, indeed.