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Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards

I fucking love every second of this record.

Not only do I like this Lars better than that other one, but this is the brashest, most beautifully repugnant blast of street punk you’ve heard in ages. That Tim Armstrong helped write the songs is evident, but this isn’t just another Rancid record. This is rougher, louder (yes!), and more like a wrecking ball in a barroom… more Ramones than Rancid.

The whole thing came about because it was suggested that Lars write songs about his life growing up. As Wiki writes, “Their songs include subject matter consisting of drinking, fighting, drugs, sex, prostitutes, gangs, and street life.” The band nails every angle with tight aplomb, and the vocals come packed with a world-weary yet fully cognizant sneer that couldn’t be any more perfect.

Two covers songs landed here, too: A gargle-voiced jaunt through Billy Bragg’s To Have And To Have Not,” and a rip-snorting version of Holland/Dozier/Holland’s Leaving Here, which was also covered by Motörhead and Pearl Jam.

Unapologetically loud and imperfect, this album is a breath of fresh fucking air in a world of pre-fab over-produced pop-pap-punk pish.

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