Rancid, Rancid (Hellcat / Epitaph): I'd say that Rancid have gone back to their roots, only these roots are harder and rawer than anything I've previously heard from this retro-punk combo. The 22 tracks crash and burn, loud and fast. With production from Epitaph head honcho Brett Gurewitz, this is an amazingly real album at a time when we badly need it. And when you hit track 14, "Radio Havana" it feels like you've just broken on through to the other side. Amazing what the addition of a bit of melody can do! — Michael Goldberg

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