"Is it metal?" I asked. "No, its Punk" came the reply. I had a brief fling with punk, in the form of Green Day and Blink 182. But I was older now, more mature. My eyes had been opened, and I was aware of just how shit a place planet Earth was.
Death. Famine. Murder. Rape. Genocide. How could I listen to songs about acting a tit and trying to get laid, when all this horrible stuff was happening on a daily basis. The world was a terrible place, and I was really mad and hated everyone!
Ok, not everyone. Just some people. Actually I didn't really hate all that many people. I just didn't like strangers very much, they made me feel uncomfortable. I guess, thinking about it, I was't all that angry either. But back then if it wasn't Metal, I wasn't interested. So I made a deal with my friend, I would listen to some Punk if she would listen to some Nu-metal.
I get home from work, go upstairs, put the album in my CD player and press play. My mind is blow! How can this be 'Punk'. It's fast. It's brutal. I love it. I took the CD back to work with me, after a weekend of having a borrow, "Yeah, it's OK." I lied.
I worked part time after college, which paid me around £120 a fortnight. Every Saturday after pay, me and some friends would go into Cardiff, pop into Spillers Records, and spend most of our pay on CDs. Having sampled some Rancid, I decided to take a risk and buy some more. I picked up 2 Rancid albums that day, the first self titled released in 1993 & ....And Out Come The Wolves, 1995.
Now before we go any further I want you to do me a favor. Picture the scene: You just get home from a day out in Cardiff. You've walked all the way home from the train station with your bag of new CD's. You head upstairs. Pour the contents of the bag out on to the bed. Pick up ...And Out Come The Wolves, and put it in your CD player. You press play. And this happens....
I can't tell you what else I purchased that day. I don't think I got around to listening to the other albums for a while. I played this album so damn much, you would think I would have played it to death. 15 years later and I'm still playing the shit out of it.
The lack of acknowledgement Matt Freeman gets for his bass playing skills, is one of the greatest crimes in musical history. No, I'm not joking. No, really, I'm serious. This guy can really play!
When I heard the bass solo in Maxwell Murder & the bass line for Journey To The End Of The Easy Bay, I decided I wanted to play bass. I had tried playing guitar, so I knew Smoke On The Water, so the first thing I learnt to play was the intro to Journey.... I can't play bass for shit. But I can still play that intro. And that's about it!
The album feels completely different to Rancid (2000). It's nowhere near as aggressive. It's such a feel good album. It's a sing-a-long album, It's so damn catchy, it's almost poppy. Just listen to any of the, I guess you would call them hits, Time Bomb, Ruby Soho, Roots Radical.
Rancid have released 5 other albums since ...And Out Come The Wolves. Some better than others. But as a whole, they are a band that still delivers even after all these years. However, nothing comes close to ...And Out Come The Wolves.
I had found punk rock. Real punk rock. I will always be grateful to that friend, who persuaded me to listen to Rancid (2000). And I will always be thankful for the influence Rancid has had on me & my life.