never wins any points for originality, but originality isn't their goal. Rancid wants to be, to quote an old Clash slogan, "the only band that matters." Where the Clash earned that title by mixing genres, blending the old with the new, Rancid decide to be traditional, spiking the Clash's sound with ska-punk and hardcore. Musically, that might not make the group vital in 1998, since it ignores any musical innovations since 1978, but that doesn't mean the group is impotent -- far from it. Life Won't Wait, the group's fourth album, is a powerful slice of old-school punk -- as powerful as any of their records. Apart from a more pronounced ska influence. Complete with the fiery intensity and catchy hooks that set the group apart from the retro-punk pack. Life Won't Wait, however, also shares the messy, pseudo-epic pretensions that hampered its predecessor. Taken in small doses, the record is quite powerful, but since the group's attack is fairly predictable, even with the detours into ska/reggae and blues, the album becomes wearing when taken as a whole. Still, Rancid are head and shoulders above their punk contemporaries -- they have better songs, a genuine political stance, and raging energy -- and that makes such indulgences tolerable. Even if it runs too long, there won't be a better old-school punk album than Life Won't Wait. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
Every long-time running band from lets say 70's to 90's has got to have that one album. You know which I mean. the album that set new standards and brought the band to the attention of new kinds of people. The album that dared to go somewhere new, and give us a new taste and outlook of the band.
Rancid had always liked to experiment with ska elements such as horns and the organ as we can see on the few tracks on 'Wolves". But never got around to actually expanding off that base. I guess you could say they got down to it and expanded not just a few tracks but about 85% of this album in the ska/raggae style.
It brings on the table a new side of Rancid. This time around, they deal with things much differently. they approach each song in a different way. I cant quite put my finger on it. But different doesnt mean bad. Life Won't Wait has to be the album that the band put the most thought and heart into. It deals with opinions, thoughts, and just overall feelings and pours them into the album tracks so nicely that at the end, you come out getting great music with great sound. But dont let all this ska/raggae talk scare you.
Rancid hasnt forgotten their roots. You will see a few 100% punk-gems lying around the tracklist just waiting to be played. So I guess you could say that Rancid has recorded an album that attracts all genres. An album that dares to go somewhere where the average Rancid fan would be utterly lost. And yes, the album that indeed set brand-new standards for the band.
Change can be very, very good.
Rancid- Life Won't Wait
Tim Armstrong- Guitar, Vocals
Lars Frederiksen- Guitar, Vocals
Matt Freeman- Bass, Vocals
Brett Reed- Drums
This review will include the album getting divided into three portions. The beginning, middle and end of the record (theoretical order). Since there are 22 tracks, this format will suit and easier view for the reviewer and hopefully, the rest of the Sputnik users.
I think the Intro
was a great idea to put into the album, because all it is, is one awesome classic-sounding Rancid riff, along with a few horns. And a strange, robotic-like voice goes "The phenomena you are about to witness could well revolutionize your way of thinking. We are presenting startling facts and evidence that take up where explanations leave off. Some of these revelations will very well go against things you have been taught and perhaps believed all your life. Prepare yourself for the evidence that will follow..." Kind ofcreepy to some people, but its a great track, as Rancid has never done a 'Intro' track before. Good opener. Gets you ready for what will come up. Starting with real songs, the album moves on to Bloodclot
, which has to be the most radio-frinedly song on the album. As the first single, this song can get very poppy, and doesnt really live up to what the album is supposed send you. Bad first impression. Good song, but bad impression. Hoover Street
is more like it. Here we see change. It has Tim slurring like always on the slow mellow verses, and then a heavier instrumental chorus. They use the xylophones in this track, and as you probably wont notice them right away, theyre there, and they make the song sound great. Follows with Black Lung
, another punkier track, and features one hell of a bass line. It is very well-built. And we can see something very different coming from Brett as well. Stands solid as one of the album's best. On with the raggae! the title track, Life Won't Wait
makes on hell of an entrance, and featuring back-up singers and bongos and an organ, it makes one hell of a listen. This is what the album is about right here. The organ solo does it for me. Great, great song. After that, New Dress
brings you back to the heavier stuff for a little bit. I love the intro in this one. The flams set off Lars into great vocals and a great bass line. It still hasnt let go of the back-up singers. They'll be there for a little while. The portion-closer, Warsaw
is also one of the album;s best. Lars and Tim do duel vocals on the chorus, and trade verses. Its an amazing song and closes the portion on the best note.
Portion 1 score- 4.5/5
Reccomended Songs- Black Lung, Life Won't Wait, New Dress, Warsaw
Starts off with another raggae track. Hooligans
, features the band Hooligans helping out with vocals. Again with the help of the called-for elements, it gives off that great sound. Crane Fist
starts off with possibly the best bass line on the album. Still with the organ, this is one of the album's best. Lar's vocals are the highlight here. Follows then with Leicester Square
. This is another much punkier classic Rancid song. Although not as fast as their old stuff, it echoes as if it was. Great vocals and bass once again. Then, on with Backslide
, which is one of my favorites. The song starts off with an explosion of horns, and moves on with Tim on vocals. The highlight for me is the chorus. Amazing stuff. The bridge also stands solid. Who Would've Thought
is one of the slower songs on the album. The highlight are Tim's vocals. And the distortion throughout the verses plus a great solo make it another one of the best. Cash, Culture and Violence
also has a great intro, and Lar's vocals on the bass-led choruses are the highlight once again. Cocktails
is a heavy-ass ska-song. I guess the vocal-talk is starting to get old but im just speaking my mind. The vocals are great on this song. Tim does a great job. And the drums lead the song very well. The portion closer here, is The Wolf
. This is a song that was meant to go on the predecessor. But didnt have the feel that the rest of the album had. But it fits in perfectly here. The guitar part clicks in well with the song, and makes the song end very well. This ranked in as the best portion of the album. Great, great music. And asks for nothing more, and nothing less.
Portion 2 score- 5/5
Reccomended Songs- ALL OF THEM :thumb:
Kicks off with the second single off the album. 1998
has great guitar, probably the best on the album. This portion strikes more as the old Rancid style. With some extra kicks. Lady Liberty
has a folk-like riff, and doesnt fit in with the portion at all. not a very good song either. Filler or not, it should have been left out. Follows with Wrongful Suspicion
, another great raggae track. The back-up singers make a great apperance. And the organ makes the song stand as one of the best. Tim makes the song perfect with his vocals. Closing to the near-end of the album, these tracks lack barely anything. Good sign. Follows with Turntable
, my personal favorite. Actually, I would have to say that this and Backslide both shine just as much. Lars and Tim make a great duo for the lyrics at the choruses. And the drums once again make a great appereance. The bridge mellows down a little bit and fools you a little bit, but keeps on going on at the faster pace. Great track. Something In The World Today
has a great opening riff, and sets Lars off the leash with vocals. Chorus makes me think of a Ramones song for some reason. It gives off the perfect energy for the closing of a great album. But its not over yet. Love songs in Rancid albums are always truly great. And Corazon De Oro
has to be the best one in any album. I never thought I would call a Rancid song beautiful, but I guess the standards are that great. great organ and lyrics make this another great song on the reccomended list. Great stuff. Closes the album with the five-minute track, Coppers
. Which I think is trying to kind of imitate a track on The Clash's self titled, which was called police and thieves, which also ranked in at about five minutes. But without heading off-topic, the song itself is the best closing to the album. Also probably one of the biggest raggae influence on the album. The singers, which I think are the Hooligans again, make this song perfect, and add exactly what the song called for.And Tim and Lars And hey, even Matt pop in and out of verses and the bridge. Perfect closing.
Portion 3 score- 4/5
Reccomended Songs- 1998, Wrongful Suspicion, Turntable, Corazon De oro, Coppers
+Probably best vocals on any Rancid album (sorry for the constant remarks :lol:
-Other Instruments Over-power guitar, making it sound weak
-Not outstanding bass
I must say, in the process of reviewing this album, and listening to the songs again, it made me change my mind about the score. This is truly amazing written music. And for the people that it will grow on, they will soon treasure this album. I guess Rancid went somewhere different this time around, and indeed they did a great job. This is their personal favorite album, and the one with the most emphasis and dedication. And also the one with the best message. And the message is very simple. Life wont Wait. If youre somewhere in a basement reading this review with a dimmed light and a bag of doritos, get up, get out and make your time on earth truly worthwhile. This album reflects off that message and provided great mixes of music and vocals. I cant say it didnt surprise me, because it did. But when it comes down to it. There is the familiar Rancid, and then theres the little album that risked it all. Life Won't Wait