Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rancid: . . . And Out Come the Wolves [Epitaph, 1995]
Third time out they're as far ahead of the Offspring as they are behind the Clash. Musically, their oi-ska 'core has got it going on--the 19 anthems start catchy, rev up the guitar in the middle, tail off to catch their breath, and climax with two war chants and a piece of personal invective that I hope isn't about Green Day because that would be petty. But their words only go halfway, which matters when you honor the literal and print your lyrics--their stories vague out, their slogans implode, and their politics have no future. Even in punk terms, they're not great singers either. Not only won't they change the world, they won't change rock and roll. Which is no reason not to wish them well. A-