A Poet's Life is a smooth reggae joint rolled by Rancid's Tim Armstrong with Los Angeles rude boys The Aggrolites. Lint, a founding member of Operation Ivy, Dance Hall Crashers, Transplants, and longtime friend / fan one of the true bridges for crusty punkers and rude boys to cross over, speaking of course of the late Joe Strummer of The Clash, didn't reveal his his admiration for reggae on record until 1995, when the East Bay punks released And Out Come The Wolves, Rancid's most successful album. A warning to the hardcore gutter punks in leather jackets sniffing glue in the littered alleyways of the USA; this record is, to bastardize the famous Coolio song, a "skanker's paradise."
Tipping the hat to Strummer, Armstrong, along with Hellcat ska stallions The Aggrolites, recorded ten irie beauties which beam a positive roots reggae aura, rather than traditional ska or reg-hop. The snare drums are higher than Bob Marley, who is looking down on this inked punk from Cali, nodding his dread head with undisputed approval.
Lint's imprint Hellcat has housed a crispy crew of leaf burning rude boys such as Hepcat, The Slackers, The Gadjits, as well as Transplants and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleroes, reinforcing Armstrong's necessary experiment of sound and its vital importance to the future of mankind.
Honestly, I was so lifted as I listened to these tracks, that they all blended together like a seven-day cruise in the PiÃ±a Colada Caribbean. However, "Among The Dead," "Inner City Violence," and the album's first single "Into Action" are desperate pleas for change in this mad mad world, masterfully cloaked under the guise of a beach front band on the shore of Jamaica.
My man Tim, who suffered some serious trauma when he divorced Brody Dalle in 2003, will reportedly release a new album with Rancid this year. The lineup will feature a new drummer, kid from The Used, in place of founding stick man Brett Reed. The boys toured through Seattle last summer, dusting off the golden oldies, as I sweated to death in my haggard Let's Go t-shirt.
The Oakland born, spider-web headed, soot mouth spitter Tim Armstrong, holder of the secret pen that wrote numerous hits for slits Pink, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Osbourne, has gallantly torched a sizzling fire of substantial Ire on this commendable solo spinner.