Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards

Love Rancid or hate them, there's no denying the band members' commitment to their art or the way they live their lives. What you see is what you get, a quartet of foul-mouthed louts that, if they weren't playing music, would be roaming the streets of central California, mugging and looting. And they aren't afraid to tell you as much. In fact, on his first solo album, Rancid guitarist Lars Frederiksen takes great pride in telling you so. Co-writing with Rancid band-mate Tim Armstrong, Frederiksen and his substitute band of bastards create the roughest, rawest sounding tribute to British Invasion punk since... well, since the last Rancid record. "It felt no different than making a Rancid record, it's just an extension of Rancid," Frederiksen enthuses. "It's another excuse for us to get together and hang out. I got a chance to hang out with my best friends and write songs together. Who wouldn't want to do that?" The project was actually the brainchild of Armstrong, who suggested Frederiksen set the stories of his misspent youth in Campbell, CA, to music. The result is a record that oozes unabashed punk rock fury and anger, this despite the fact that the Rancid members are probably making a pretty decent living for themselves these days. Yet somehow recalling those stories seems to have brought out the juvenile delinquent in Frederiksen. Maybe because he didn't sing a lot on the last Rancid record, Frederiksen has an awful lot of rage to get out of his system. This disc seems almost therapeutic in a way. A good way. Let's just hope he hasn't used up all his energy or good ideas or the next Rancid record could suck. (Epitaph)