Release date: 20/03/2001 - Hellcat
This is an old one to be reviewed in 2008 but it deserves it. You may know Lars Frederiksen as the guitarist from Californian Punk band 'Rancid' and this was his first solo album, a sort of concept one based on growing up in a town called Campbell, CA. The first thing I thought when hearing the record for the first time is just how Punk it actually is. The sound comes straight out of London, 1976 and what Lars is singing about matches the sound and the style is reminicesent of the great Punk lyricists from the hey-day. This wasn't a mistake either as track Four on the album is a heavy cover of 'To Have And To Have Not' by Billy Bragg and this version performs well, beefing up Bragg and enhancing what Bragg's lyrics mean because you can hear that Lars means them too. "Well I dropped outta high school in Campbell, California
Got a guitar and I never looked back"
It's also worth mentioning that he also covers Motorhead's version of 'Leavin' Here', the Motown classic.
As for the self-composed tracks you're not fucking dissapointed either, with tracks like opener 'Dead American' and closer 'Vietnam' both solid tracks that demand to be replayed, so much energy that you rarely hear from other bands in the same field. These would have to be my two favorite tracks but not by far as you have Ramones-esque 'Plagues Of Egypt' (listen to 'The Crusher' to enhance that point) and 'Wine and Roses' which is one to sing along too plus there's a mention of 'Holidays In The Sun' which tells you further where this album is coming from.
It's seven years old physically, mentally about thirty and it still looks fresher than my brand new Black Flag t-shirt. Trust me, if you get this album you'll better off. Plus it's a good way to get ready for Rancids new album and tour this Winter.
&&&&&& - The Kill Times verdict: Six ampersands out of six.
Review by JB
For your listening pleasure:
Dead American - MP3 format
Wine and Roses - MP3 format