How do you follow up a stone classic like …And Out Come The Wolves (which I love unreservedly)? You go back to the studio and keep that ball rolling, that’s what!
But you don’t stop there. You record in Jamaica, and up into the States in New York, San Francisco, LA and New Orleans. You get help from Buju Banton, three of the Specials, Dicky Barrett, the Slackers’ Vic Ruggiero, Billie Joe Armstrong, Dave Hillyard, Marky Ramone, and even Wil Wheaton (among many, many others). You record over 50 songs and narrow the pile down to a final 22. You make the cover art an homage to John Lennon’s Rock ’N’ Roll and Neil Young’s After The Goldrush…
But most importantly, you write friggin’ strong songs that sound like Rancid, but also branch out sonically and add reggae and ska even more strongly into that Rancid sound. We know they love the Clash and it’s here too (hey, London’s Calling from Sandinista…). First one I heard, way back then, was Bloodclot. I was sold.
This one and …AOCTW are way up there as Rancid’s best works. Bloody brilliance.