Rancid's Tim Armstrong in "Time Bomb"
A Rancid Explosion
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Considered to be one of the cornerstone bands of the '90s punk revival, Rancid was the brainchild of two-toned punk rock fans and longtime Bay Area friends, Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman. Following a few brief stints in several ska/punk acts, including Operation Ivy, Dance Hall Crashers and Downfall, the pair added drummer Brett Reed and released a debut EP as Rancid in 1992. It wasn't long before the band's Mohawks and spike-studded attire caught the interest of Epitaph Records founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz. The band subsequently added a fourth and final member, guitarist Lars Frederiksen, and released their debut Epitaph album in 1994.
Rancid's second album, …And Out Come The Wolves (dubbed as a reference to the predator-like interest from labels in signing the band), built on their super-charged sound, drawing inspiration from classic punk outfits such as the Clash and the Specials. "Time Bomb," the album's top charting Mainstream Rock Tracks single, is not void of radical punk-influenced images and scenes — graffiti, tattoos and piercings — and features Rancid performing what seems like a destructive show in the loft of an abandoned building. As for the guy with the black coat, white shoes, black hat, and Cadillac, well he's just a time bomb waiting to explode.
Following their 1995 release, the band experienced a few explosions of their own — Armstrong went through a bitter divorce from Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle in 2003 and the band went on a brief hiatus that same year after releasing Indestructible. The group reformed in 2006 only to experience another blow when Reed announced his departure. Fortunately, the split wasn't rancid by any means and the band added drummer Branden Steineckert. Rancid teamed with Gurewitz to release their most recent time bomb, Let The Dominoes Fall, in 2009.
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