On Thursday, legendary punk revivalists Rancid return to Revolution Live to summon bruised memories of moshing and slam-dancing in the '90s before setting sail on the Salty Dog Cruise with Flogging Molly and Frank Turner. Despite its name, Rancid has never stood out for being foul in any way. If it's known for anything, Rancid is synonymous with fun, infectious pop-punk/ska ditties like "Fall Back Down," "Roots Radical," "Time Bomb," and the smash radio hit "Ruby Soho." Still, if not Tim Armstrong and company, who would fall under the category of the most "rancid" punk /ska bands?
We're leaving off this list the forefathers of punk, the Sex Pistols, since, with their dick-themed name and reputation as one of the catalysts that began a tradition of pissing on traditional values and what's considered acceptable or decent in modern rock 'n' roll, they're sort of a "no duh" pick. Instead, these are the bands that lived up to the "rancid" standard and, in some cases, surpassed it.
5. Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Cherry Poppin' Daddies incorporated a heavy dose of ska into their music and fall into the "rancid" category for all the wrong reasons. They're a terrible band with a terrible name: Doesn't Cherry Poppin' Daddies sound a little... rapey? The name was taken from a jive phrase that appeared on race records aimed at African-Americans in the early part of the 20th Century. That being said, once you break down the individual parts, cherry popping, as in taking a young girl's virginity, and daddy, either literally (eww) or as in an older man, that shit just feels wrong.
4. Dead Kennedys. The Dead Kennedys were around for less than a decade, but for many punks, they're one of the most influential bands in the canon. Not the Pol Pot protest song "Holiday in Cambodia" nor the boozy "Too Drunk to Fuck" brought them as much infamy as the poster art for 1985's Frankenchrist. Tucked away inside the original record sleeve was a poster of a rather salacious nature (if your pervy eyes want to see it, Google "dead kennedys frankenchrist poster"; just don't do it at work... unless you work at a sex shop). The offending art brought criminal charges against band members for "distribution of harmful matter to minors," though all charges were eventually dropped.
3. Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Throughout the '70s, the freewheeling Iggy Pop and his Stooges became known for some kick-ass shows that often found Pop smearing burger meat or peanut butter on his bare chest, working himself into a frenzy during his stage dives, slicing his skin with shards of glass, or occasionally exposing himself to the crowd. Oh, and there were the stories of the band doing heroin together at a place dubbed the "Fun House," where, after shooting up, they'd squirt the walls with blood from their syringes. You know, for funsies.
2. NOFX. Who hasn't NOFX pissed off? The president, LGBT groups, heavy-metal fans, animal activists, and on and on. Perpetually setting the example is founder and frontman Fat Mike, who over the years is proud of a great many things most of us might not be. Highlights of his achievements include his alter ego, Cokie the Clown, who enjoys blowing fake cocaine into people's faces; the cover of 1996's Heavy Petting Zoo, featuring a man finger-banging a sheep; and the time in SXSW 2010 when he urinated into a Patrón bottle and served up shots of it to members of the audience. (He later claimed that he switched bottles and that the drinks were pee-free.)
1. T.S.O.L. Anarchists T.S.O.L. shocked the establishment with a different tactic on their 1981 goth-punk classic Dance With Me. "Code Blue" is a love song to, of all things, necrophilia. The chorus isn't subtle about their romance with the dead: "?'Cause I can do what I want/And they won't complain/I wanna fuck, I wanna fuck the dead." Better yet is the final verse of the song, which is about as rancid as lyrics go: "Never on the rag or say leave me alone/They don't scream, and they don't moan/Don't even cry if I shoot in their hair/Lying on the table she smiles and she stares." Dr. Frankenstein's ideal woman.
7 p.m. Thursday, March 17, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $27 plus fees. Visit ticketmaster.com.
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