May 10, 1993
Tim Armstrong – vocals, guitar,
Matt Freeman – bass, vocals
Brett Reed – drums
4. Rats in the Hallway
5. Another Night
7. Outta My Mind
11. The Bottle
13. Holiday Sunrise
14. Unwritten Rules
15. Union Blood (Hidden Track)
16. Get Out Of My Way
Childhood friends Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman grew up together in the small, working-class town of Albany, California, near Berkeley. The two played together in the band Operation Ivy from 1987–1989. The band became popular in the at 924 Gilman Street scene, a club that features Bay Area punk bands. When Operation Ivy broke-up, Armstrong and Freeman decided to form a band called Downfall, which disbanded after a few months. They then started a hardcore band called Generator, which also disbanded shortly after. They also started the ska influenced Dance Hall Crashers, though left the band shortly after it was formed. During this time, Armstrong was struggling with alcoholism, and to keep him focused on other interests, Freeman suggested they form a new band. In 1991, they recruited Armstrong’s roommate Brett Reed as their drummer and formed Rancid.
A few months after the band’s inception, Rancid began performing around the Berkeley area and quickly developed a fan following. Rancid’s first release was a 1992 EP for Operation Ivy’s old label Lookout! Records. Shortly its release the band left Lookout! and signed to Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz’s record label, Epitaph Records. Rancid released its self-titled debut album through Epitaph in 1993.
Rancid’s eponymously titled debut studio album Rancid was released on May 10, 1993, through Epitaph Records. Rancid is the only Rancid album not to feature Lars Frederiksen on guitar, although he joined while the band was touring in support of it. It was the second of three self-titled releases, the others being the group’s debut EP (1992) and its fifth studio album (2000).
Mike DaRonco of Allmusic stated “This is where it all starts. Without any reminiscing about their former band, Operation Ivy, Matt Freeman (bass) and Tim Armstrong (guitar/vocals) blast through their debut without any hints of ska or blatant Clash plagiarizing. On the contrary, this album rips through 15 tracks of high-energy punk that’s accompanied by heavy bass leads and Armstrong’s permanently slurred vocals. And to top it all off, the lyrical content deals with urban blight and the lifestyle of being a public nuisance. With this trademark sound, Rancid provide the perfect soundtrack for any car chase that includes massive property damage; is it a wonder MTV wouldn’t touch this?”
Rating: ** * two out of three stars
On to the story . . .
Years ago I was watching an episode of Taxi Cab Confessions (remember that show?). And one of the guys that hopped into the back of the cab was a subway cop. Like they did, they baited the guy long enough until they got him talking.
One of his worst experiences while working the subway was this:
A guy was standing too close to the edge and was somehow pushed over and onto the subway tracks. While he was on the tracks the subway came and hit him. The lower half of his body was stuck under the tracks. When the train hit him it twisted the top of his body completely around. Now the subway cop had the horrible job of going down onto the tracks and telling the guy that he is alive at the moment, but once they attempt to remove him that his body will spin back around and sever his spine and he will die instantly.
I can’t think of a more horrible task. The guy is alive, though traumatized, and looking at you, understanding your words, but trying to comprehend the fact that if moved he is dead.
I’ve never had to deal with death like that. Most of the people that I’ve known have gone very quickly.
In 1984, while in barber school, I was leaving through the back door one day at lunch, when, about, twenty feet away from me, I heard a small cherry-picker whirring away and lifting a guy up into the air. The guy got out of the picker and was attempting to wrap a belt around his waist and the telephone pole.
I watched him leave the cherry-picker, loop the belt and then I saw him fall and hit his head on the curb. For a second every one of the four other pole workers yelled, “Oh my god, shit,” etc. Then everything went insanely quiet. For the next five minutes, it was like the city shut down.
I watched, after what felt like hours, as one of the crew members ran to the truck and radioed for help.
I stood there for a little bit, kind of, stunned. And not really able to move, then all at once the world started again. Cars flying by, the crew started chatting to bystanders. In an instant, everything was back to normal, with the exception of a guy lying in the gutter with his head on the curb.
It was all very surreal. I had to return to school. At 2:30, when I was leaving, the crew was gone as was the body. That night I popped on the news and there was no mention of the guy. Kind of sad.
Born Frustrated is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb