Review: ‘Rancid’

Bay Area punk rockers of the band Rancid have, since their debut album in 1993, attempted to distinguish their Clash-influenced sound with hard-hitting lyrics that recount with sometimes stunning realism the struggles of underprivileged East Bay youth, separating themselves in more ways than one from the lighter fare of Green Day and the Offspring.

Bay Area punk rockers of the band Rancid have, since their debut album in 1993, attempted to distinguish their Clash-influenced sound with hard-hitting lyrics that recount with sometimes stunning realism the struggles of underprivileged East Bay youth, separating themselves in more ways than one from the lighter fare of Green Day and the Offspring.

Subsequently, the band also managed to avoid much of the backlash that hit the punk set a couple years ago, and on the newly released “Life Won’t Wait” (Epitaph) album, Rancid effectively exploits its longevity and confidently branches into some new, matured musical styles, while retaining the boisterous energy and kick-ass attitude that made the group one of the more attractive ’90s punk revivalists.

At the sold-out sweatbox known as the Palladium, the quartet — fresh from their stint on the Warped Tour, and the night after opening for the Beastie Boys in San Diego — spun off 20 of their most effective live tunes in just over an hour, while the fired-up, mostly male audience celebrated (after a two-year local absence of Rancid shows) in a series of mosh pits in the center of the venue’s giant dance floor.

A handful of new songs, like the rousing, offbeat ska tune “Hooligans” and the politically critical “Warsaw,” were welcome new additions to a high-energy set that favored the group’s more catchy and straight-ahead punk material, like encore “Ruby Soho,” the swaggering “Salvation” (which recalls Armstrong’s days in the Salvation Army) and the eminently memorable “Time Bomb.”

Rancid

Palladium; 3,835 capacity; $12 top

Production

Presented by Goldenvoice. Reviewed Sept. 9, 1998.

Cast

Band: Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Matt Freeman, Brett Reed, Paul Jackson.
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