Rancid: ...And Out Come the Wolves...

A couple of weeks ago in a forest area a couple of miles outside Jakarta I was playing Rancid's Roots Radicals in an acoustic guitar together with a young Indonesian computer hacker doing the lead guitar part and a Dutch anti-nukes activist singing the vocals, we weren't able to finish the song though since the other folks who were with us then insisted that we ought to play a song that they all know and could sing along to so we were then forced to play Oasis' Wonderwall instead.

What's interesting with that jam session is that it reminded me of an afternoon sometime in 1996 where in the midst of a summer storm I along with my friend Jarme (who was my constant record shopping buddy at the time) bought two of the most influential records at the time, as it would determine the musical direction that we'd individually pursue in the subsequent years.

He bought The Offspring's Ixnay on the Homre, (which I will write something about, hopefully in the near future).
I bought Rancid's breakthrough album ...And Out Come the Wolves...

Released soon after the breakthrough success of Green Day and The Offspring, Rancid's cult popularity and catchy songs made them the subject of a major label bidding war (hence the title, ...And Out Come the Wolves taken from a poem in Jim Carroll's Basketball Diaries) that ended with the band sticking with their indie label, Epitaph Records.

At the time I believed that it was the first 'true punk rock' record that I've owned, which it probably was, since before that all I have is Greenday's Dookie! and Insomiac albums and an assortment of grunge and post grunge records and some other records that one would easily file under 'alternative music'.

I can still remember listening to the first track, Maxwell Murder which features an amazing bass solo by Matt Freeman, shortly followed by the 11th Hour and then with the classics Roots Radicals and Time Bomb Roots Radicals features Lar's vocals at their very best and fast-paced riffs that satisfy. While Time Bomb featured them experimenting with ska elements.

I must admit that what really got me to buying that album was hearing Ruby Soho, on FM radio though, and I'm not even sure if it's on NU 107 or in LA 105. But anyways it’s also one my favorite songs in the album as well as Journey to the End of Eastbay, (which also has this amazing bass intro) and You Don't Care, (which is a natural thing for me to like since I always have the knack to point out that I'm always deprived of justice in so many things in life...).

Earlier I talked about how the album would become a major influence on me musically, and the reason behind that (as if it isn't that obvious already...) is Matt Freeman's bass playing. It wasn't only after hearing him play that I realized how important and not to mention cool, playing the bass guitar was, (and boy I was blown away with that realization at the time).

The record got me into paying close attention to detail to the songs that I later on listened to, it although it wasn't until the later part of 1997 that I finally learned how to actually play bass thanks to Laix and most notably Reggie who would later on also become my band mates.

Looking back, I still can't play bass like Matt Freeman, but taking inspiration from his style and technique has made me capable enough to do the bass guitar work for PayItForward, maybe I need to listen to it more...

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