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When Rancid Went Hardcore With Their Second Self-Titled Album

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Rancid have never been known as soft-spoken, but they still managed to turn up the aggression with their fifth album, Rancid, which came out on Aug. 1, 2000.

With the records leading up to the group’s second self-titled release — often referred to as Rancid 2000 — the California punk outfit let their ska and reggae influences come through without much dilution. But for Rancid 2000, the name of the game was punk rock.

The album is a dense 38 minutes of blisteringly fast power chords, blast-beat drums and Matt Freeman’s signature 1,000-note-per-second bass-playing. With most songs on the album clocking in under two minutes — and a handful at less than one minute — you could blink and miss half of it.

With their previous effort, Life Won’t Wait, Rancid took the time to more deeply explore the roots of their musical influences. They dabbled not only in the ska and reggae they’d always loved, but also in rockabilly, dub and funk.

It would seem they got all of that out of their systems. By the time they went into the studio to record their fifth album, speed seemed to be the primary motivating factor. The members have always maintained, though, that they didn’t go into recording sessions with a master plan in place. When asked in an interview with Slap Magazine if they planned to record a hardcore album, Freeman replied, “No. We were just f—ing pissed. There was a lot of tension in the world. It was coming from a place of pure anger. We put it down and that was the result.”

Rancid had, up to this point, released all of their albums through punk-rock label Epitaph Records. But for Rancid 2000, they decided to do things themselves. In 1997, Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, along with Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz, started a new label called Hellcat Records, with Armstrong responsible for signing most of the bands. Hellcat was a way for Armstrong to support more esoteric bands, which were mostly ska, psychobilly, Oi! and similar offshoots of punk rock.

The anger Freeman was talking about above is apparent from the very beginning of the album with a 35-second ripper called, “Don Giovanni.”

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That song is followed by a one-minute scorcher called, “Disgruntled.”

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Even though the album is chock full of piss and vinegar and moves along at blazing speeds, Armstrong’s talent for writing catchy, melodic tunes still comes through. The album’s third track, “It’s Quite Alright,” is a shining example.

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The band’s political ideals are laid bare in “Antennas,” during which the distorted guitars actually get clean for a few scant seconds here and there.

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Rancid 2000 didn’t perform as well on the charts as their previous efforts, but it was still well-received by fans and critics alike. Rancid released only one more album, Indestructible, before going on an extended hiatus until they reconvened in 2006.

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Next: Revisit Rancid's '...And Out Come the Wolves'

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