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Review: Rancid/NOFX, Split Series 3

0.5

Rancid/NOFX, Split Series 3

Rancid and NOFX—two of the most successful punk bands of the ‘90s—have teamed up on a new split disc on which each covers six of the other band’s songs. Both bands built their successful legacies by releasing great records featuring their respectively distinct sounds, maintaining their commitments to punk ideals and starting labels whose focus has always been on releasing quality punk albums. Considering the integrity of their previous work, it’s no surprise that some fans have felt somewhat insulted by NOFX and Rancid serving up a shit sandwich like this. The genius of the cross-genre cover song is the conception of an entirely fresh track out of old and familiar material. When metal/hardcore heroes Shai Halud covered NOFX’s “Linoleum,” they reminded punk/hardcore fans that ‘80s pop hits aren’t the only songs that can be brilliantly transferred to a more aggressive genre. Rancid’s cover of NOFX’s “Moron Brothers,” on the other hand, is an aggravating reminder that California punk bands don’t sound much different from each other. In the disc’s liner notes, NOFX’s Fat Mike claims that he turned down splits with Pennywise and Lagwagon because the bands sound too similar and that a collaboration would surely yield a “boring record.” Upon listening to Rancid and NOFX play nearly identical (yet less impassioned) versions of each other’s songs, this seems like a pointless exercise in lackluster mimicry (exactly what Fat Mike was claiming to avoid). If Fat Mike was so concerned about sounding different from other bands, he should have done the split with Mariah Carey or Ja Rule. NOFX and Rancid possess enough talent and range to produce solid covers of any band, but with the exception of NOFX’s rock steady reggae take of Rancid’s punk ode to the airwaves, “Radio,” these covers are the sound of complete disinterest.

Label: BYO Release Date: April 17, 2002 Buy: Amazon

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