Rewind: Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves

Rewind: Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves

With TIDAL Rewind, we blow the dust off an old album that’s begging to be heard again. Here, we look back at Rancid’s third studio album, …And Out Come The Wolves, which turns 20 years old on August 22. 

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What is …And Out Come The Wolves?

…And Out Come the Wolves is the third studio album by Berkeley, California punk band Rancid. This tour de force of energetic power punk was recorded over a short period in early 1995 and released August 22 of that same year through Epitaph Records. The album produced three hit singles – “Roots Radicals,” “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” – all of which earned the band heavy airplay.

And with over one million sold copies of …And Out Come the Wolves in America alone, the album marks a majestic breakthrough for the underground music scene without compromising in-your-face attitude and anti-establishment views.

What does it sound like?

Sounding like a mix between The Clash and The Specials, Rancid is one of the first bands to combine hardcore punk stylings with the upbeat rhythms of ska. The band’s founders – 1980s punk veterans Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman – draw heavily on their pre-Rancid days from their highly influential ska-punk outfit, Operation Ivy.

…And Out Come the Wolves is a ska punk record spread with catchy melodies, distorted punk guitar, groovy walking bass, fast tempos and Armstrong’s hoarse rascal vocal, which provides a harder edge to the wide range of melody lines and hooks.

Why should I care?

Rancid is one of the most successful independent punk rock groups of all time, with over four million records sold worldwide.

Together with contemporary punk albums like Bad Religion’s Stranger than Fiction (1994), Green Day’s Dookie (1994), NOFX’s Punk in Drublic (1994) and The Offspring’s Smash (1994), Rancid’s …And Out Come the Wolves brought the underground punk rock scene to the mainstream in the mid-’90s.

This newfound popularity, which would have seemed inconceivable prior to Nirvana’s breakthrough, made Rancid the subject of an aggressive bidding war between major label’s, hence the title, …And Out Come the Wolves. 

Where do I hear more?

Released on May 10, 1993, also through Epitaph Records, Rancid’s self-titled debut is without any hints of ska and The Clash-inspired sound. This album is a pure demonstration of high-energy punk, which the power track “Rats In The Hallway” demonstrates perfectly.

Rancid’s notable success came with album number two, Let’s Go (1994), featuring the singles “Salvation” and “Nihilism.” The track “Radio” was co-written with Green Day frontman and friend of the band, Billie Joe Armstrong. Following a live performance with Rancid, Billie Joe was was asked to join Rancid as a full member my Tim Armstrong, though he opted to stay with Green Day.

On a more recent note, guitarist Lars Frederiksen’s side project, Lars Frederiksen and The Bastards, was a self-described “street punk” band that plays songs about drinking, fighting, drugs, sex, prostitutes, gangs, and street life. The group released two albums, the second of which was Viking (2004) — a soul searching portrait of Frederiksen himself. His self-mythology is expressed very explicit in the spoken word outro track, “The Viking.”

Today, with their latest addition, …Honor Is All We Know (2014), Rancid has released eight studio albums to date. Twenty years after their landmark breakthrough, the band continues to play their beloved brand of punk rock around the world.

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