There is absolutely no way in hell you can slate this latest effort from Lars and his crew of Skins, Punx and Drunx (who, just in case you hadn't guessed, are especially hard as they are spelt with x's.) Anyway, this album is hard and fast from the moment it starts which is what The Bastards was meant to be from the start; something different from Rancid. I hear all these kids whining about how you can't listen to it due to it just being a wall of noise, get a grip, this is real music - not clash-rip-off ska-wannabe Armstrong-churned-out Rancid shite, go back to Good Charlotte. Lars has made it clear that he is now in with a huge number of bikers (bikers may disagree with this) but if thats the direction he wants to go then obviously its going to reflect in his lyrics and the way he presents his album. On the inside cover Lars is sporting handlebar moustaches, leather waistcoats and surrounded by biker chicks. The picture of Skinhead Rob is the only thing that people may be correct about - as he was a failure from the start. He ruined the Transplants and the weak song on the album just happens to feature him. Moving on to the actual music - its hard, fast and awesome, just imagine a whole album of "Dead American" but twice as fast. This means the songs don't ever get boring and the way they merge into each other just makes it easy listening! Obviously on the self-titled there are more stand out tracks, but thats because thats how it was made. Rancid used to make real albums like "Let's Go"; with under-two-minute epics that merged into each other beautifully, now they make every song a stand out. That's not the way to make music! Definately buy this album if you're into punk, but if you generally love your music hard, fast and in your face then this is an essential part of your collection!
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