[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your own big finds!]
Records: The Accelerators’ My Baby is an Undertaker seven-inch (2007) on black, Rancid’s Let’s Go (1994) 10-inch on white, and Taking Back Sunday’s Tell All Your Friends (2002) on clear green. That last one is, uh, 12 inches…
Place of Purchase: Accelerators’ sent me their record for review because I am an important person. I bought Rancid at Repo Records last night. TBS, one of the first albums I ever bought on vinyl, came from Shore Things on the Ocean City, N.J. boardwalk.
Records: I get a decent amount of promos in the mail. Not a lot, but enough to keep me semi-busy during my days off from my “real” job. I’d say I hate maybe two-thirds of the stuff I get, meaning I sell two-thirds of my promos to Siren Records. But every so often I score something neat-o. While My Baby is an Undertaker isn’t blindingly original and super-duper intense, it’s a reliably catchy collection of pop punk songs in the grand tradition of The Ramones and Screeching Weasel. So, that’s good.
I was talking to my friend Bruce the other day (This day being the very same day our friends in The Next Big Thing played The Trocadero) about being Rancid super fans. Listening to Let’s Go reminds me why I love ’em so dang much, even if I am pretty wary about that new Transplants album. Rancid has written an insane amount of songs, most of them are awesome, and even their failures (like the ridiculous “L.A. River” from last year’s Let the Dominoes Fall) are secretly great. Let’s Go is 23 tracks long, and it’s just one hit after the other. “Nihilism” and “Radio” are an excellent one-two punch that highlight everything great about Rancid: Clash-indebted rocking, street punk, and Matt Freeman’s slinking bass lines. “Side Kick” is a song about superheroes, which I prefer to interpret literally. Then “Salvation” hits with such an insanely catchy hook… Let’s Go is proof that Rancid always delivers fans their money’s worth.
I don’t think I’m ever going to like another emo band again. I’m only 24, but the genre ultimately belongs to sensitive teens 10 years younger than me, and I’ve been consistently disappointed by the new bands waving the tag around. Maybe it’s my age, or maybe it’s just that kids these days suck ass. Either way, I still hold on to Tell All Your Friends, even though all the gun imagery and baiting lyrics make me cringe. Eight years later, I’m still totally down with Adam Lazzara and John Nolan’s twin angst-filled vocals. I put the album on recently since the “classic” Tell All Your Friends line-up recently reformed, and “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team)” is still pretty much one of the greatest bitter love songs ever. Vinyl-only bonus track “The Ballad of Sal Villanueva” is pretty great too (Also, fuck all ya’ll that got the song on the CD rerelease. I had that shit before any of you), although “Head Club” is still the better closing track.
P.S. – Remember when Taking Back Sunday and Brand New would write really catchy diss tracks about each other? I miss that.