On My Playlist: Top 5 Rancid Songs

Punk rock would not be the same if it was not for California punk rockers, Rancid, who brought punk to the masses in the 90’s.
To this day these anti-authority musicians are still putting out fantastic music with their newest album, Trouble Maker, showing the band still has what it takes with fast paced punk riff, ska influences and interesting story-filled lyrics forming the foundation of these legends. Rancid consists of Tim Armstrong (vocals, guitar), Matt Freeman (bass), Lars Frederiksen (lead guitar, vocals) and Branden Steineckert (Drums)
Honourable mentions: Time Bomb, Salvation, Something in the World Today, Olympia WA, Out of Control
5. Fall Back Down
We begin the countdown with one of Rancid’s most popular songs that focuses on always getting up when falling down in life, whether it be falling through life’s stresses, relationship issues and so forth. There will always be a friend that will help you up. The song also utilises a lot of ska influences as well as keys and an organ in the intro to give this slower and softer song a unique element. This is definitely a song that you and your buddies can sing along to for days to come. The friendship and brotherhood is strong in this one.

4. Ghost of A Chance
A new favourite from their 2017 album Trouble Maker is typical Rancid with a very raw sound and fast-paced instrumentation. Armstrong’s raspy vocals add to the garage rock sound that incorporates punk rock and numerous other influences in this song. Frederiksen’s guitar playing and lead part also has to be singled out as one of the enduring aspects of the song.

3. It’s Quite Alright
This fast-paced number from Armstrong and Co. is the perfect example of what this band stands for. Pacy, aggressive and filled with Armstrong lyrics and vocals coming to the fore: “So many things can be a mystery but what we are seeking is freedom. We realize Mr. Reality I’m gonna be there to greet him.” This song is a straightforward account of life and its ups and down but in the end the band knows that everything will be alright. Armstrong’s unique vocal style is one of the highlights of this short and sweet song.

2. Radio
Radio is one of those songs that seem to grow on you and its sing-along qualities and lyrical content is definitely something that makes it a crowd favourite. Matt Freeman’s bass guitar playing is also exceptional in this song with some intricate bass solos and leads that fill and carries the song forward. Armstrong’s vocals also take over the song with his punchy and straightforward delivery: “When I got the music I got a place to go” This shows the importance of music in every band member’s lives and what the band focuses on – it’s all about the music.

1. Ruby Soho
This is Rancid’s most famous song and with good reason as its musical themes and lyrical delivery just makes it such as fantastic sing-along song. Frederiksen and Armstrong combine on this track and when the chorus hits with “Destination unknown. Ruby ruby ruby ruby soho” you know that you have a winner. The song depicts the youth and various stages of alienation, loneliness and how music sometimes stands in the way of love: “He’s singin and she’s there to lend a hand, he’s seen his name on the marquee but she will never understand, once again he’s leavin’ and she’s there with a tear in her eye. Embraces with a warm gesture it’s time, time to say goodbye.”

Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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