We've teamed with Rancid on exclusive vinyl represses of their two classic early 2000s albums, their hardcore-tinged self-titled 2000 album (aka 'Rancid 2000') and 2003's more pop-friendly Indestructible, the latter of which birthed two of their biggest singles since ...And Out Come the Wolves with "Fall Back Down" and "Red Hot Moon." Rancid 2000 comes on white with black splatter vinyl limited to 250, and Indestructible comes on half red/half red black vinyl limited to 300. Pre-order yours while they last.

Here's what we said about each album in our list of Rancid Albums Ranked Worst To Best:


Rancid (2000)

1998’s Life Won't Wait was Rancid's big, genre-defying, statement-making, and least punk-sounding album, but after that one came out it appeared they had another statement to make: that they could still be a punk band. A no-bullshit, hard-as-hell punk band. Their second self-titled album (following their 1993 debut) is the closest Rancid ever came to making a hardcore record, and it's real-deal hardcore. It wasn't a put-on at all; it was just proof that Rancid could've been a hardcore band this whole time if they wanted to. Following the more ambitious ...And Out Come the Wolves and Life Won't Wait, Rancid reunited with Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz (who also produced the more traditionally punk 1994 album Let's Go), and Rancid 2000 was very much a return to the band's more traditional punk roots. But even Rancid's earliest work wasn't as whiplash-inducing or as gut-busting as this. (Rancid have often had intimidating-looking artwork, but the black, skull-and-cross-bones art of Rancid 2000 was yet another indicator that this was a meaner Rancid than we'd ever seen before.) Matt Freeman took lead vocal turns for the first time since Let's Go, and his rasp is perfect for a more aggressive punk record, though it's often Lars Frederiksen's songs that are the most overtly hardcore. His bark on songs like "I Am Forever" and "Loki" are as punishing as anything that came out on SST or Dischord or Revelation in the '80s. And the album's razor-sharp, full-throttle power chords rival the great bands of that era too. Most of the songs are under two minutes and some are even under one minute. There's no ska, reggae, organs, production tricks, or anything fancy going on: just balls-to-the-walls punk rock with all the anger, attitude, and precision in the world.

Lars is the album's secret weapon, with his born-too-late bark that would've shaken up the world of hardcore two decades earlier, but as is usually the case with Rancid, it's those sneaky Tim Armstrong hooks that keep the album a step above the countless '80s hardcore worshippers that still exist today. Rancid making an '80s hardcore record in 2000 is like Kendrick making a '90s rap record with 2017's DAMN.; they took a stripped-down sound from the past that paved the way for their more complex music, and they did it in a way that did justice to their heroes' music and was still accessible to their younger fans. The hooks on songs like "Rwanda" and "Antennas" are among the catchiest in Rancid's discography; they're just worked into short, fast, no-frills songs instead of poppy, mid-tempo, radio-friendly punk songs. (Not to mention, "Antennas" remains an incisive criticism of Hollywood stopping at nothing -- not even sexism or racism -- to make a buck.) While Life Won't Wait sounded like an attempt at a classic, Rancid 2000 just sounded like Rancid having fun and playing some music they love, but they ended up writing a handful of classic songs in the process. When you compare it to the trademark sound and the out-of-this-world punk songwriting of the next two albums on this list, you sort of can't call Rancid 2000 their best album. But it is the coolest and most unlikely album they ever made, and I come back to it just about as often as I return to their most definitive LPs.


Indestructible (2003)

I might catch some flak for ranking "the sellout album" higher than the classic Life Won't Wait, but the hate for Indestructible was always unfair and I think it's been long enough that Indestructible can be fully recognized as the great album that it is. Fans were upset because Rancid signed a distribution deal with a major label, they blamed the more polished sound on Warner Bros, and nobody liked that the video for "Fall Back Down" starred members of Good Charlotte. I still don't have a very good defense for Good Charlotte (who tried to look like Rancid but were never as punk as them), but they were only in the video. The songs are all still the Rancid you know and love, and it's not like they brought in big pop producers to co-write the songs or anything. It was still produced by Bad Religion's Brett Gurewitz, who produced most of their albums, and the production isn't even that shiny. They obviously had a bigger budget than they did for the early records, so it's a cleaner sounding record, but it doesn't sound like... Good Charlotte or something. And besides, nobody over the age of 14 should be calling bands sellouts anyway. Haven't Jawbreaker taught you anything???

If the cleaner production did anything for Rancid's sound, it just brought out how there had always been strong pop songs stirring beneath Tim Armstrong's gravelly voice. The ...And Out Come the Wolves songs are the most classic, but Rancid have never written songs catchier than Indestructible singles "Fall Back Down" and "Red Hot Moon" before or since. And if you don't think it's punk to talk about strong pop songwriting, you must not listen to the Ramones or the Buzzcocks. Like a lot of musicians who emerged out of the punk underground, Tim Armstrong is a genuinely talented pop songwriter (he wrote and produced a hit for P!nk the same year Indestructible came out), and sometimes those punk musicians just need some better production to coax the great pop songs out of them. And, over 15 years later, "Fall Back Down" and "Red Hot Moon" hold up as two of the stronger pop-minded punk songs to come out of the whole mainstream punk boom. They retained the attitude and the style of classic Rancid, but they went down even easier than the classics and they held their own against the actual pop of the time. And plus, when you consider that those are the two poppiest songs that Rancid ever wrote, you're still looking at a band who are way more abrasive than the large majority of mainstream pop punk bands. Indestructible can't just be boiled down to those two songs though. Part of the reason that the album ranks so high is that, throughout its 19 tracks, it just keeps offering up ripper after ripper. There's a slow song or two in the mix, but mostly Rancid just sound like a well-oiled punk and ska-punk machine on Indestructible. It's definitely an album that favors economical, accessible songs over anything that borders on "risky," but even with that being the case, it's got a handful of fast, aggressive punk songs and even a straightup hardcore song ("Out of Control"), and there aren't many mainstream sellout punk bands who write rippers like that.


Read the full list here and pick up our new vinyl variants here.

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