Viking (Reissue)

Lars Frederiksen And The Bastards

Pirates Press Records, 2017

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


If you aren't immediately familiar with the name Lars Frederiksen, most of us will certainly know the band Rancid, who helped bring mainstream interest into punk rock again in the mid '90s. Though Rancid are still an active band, their members can't seem to stop playing in and/or spearheading other bands, too. Frederiksen alone currently plays in about four bands, and he took help from his partner in crime in Rancid, Tim Armstrong, on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Viking, which was originally released in 2004.

The sophomore album starts out with the sound of a motorcycle engine revving, and opening tune “Bastards” leads with a full throttle punk tune of buzzing guitars, raspy vocals, and a pace that could soundtrack a bar fight. Somehow, the following tune “Skins, Punx And Drunx” is even faster, with bristling energy and an anthemic chorus.

Frederiksen and crew play on their strengths well, such as the bouncy bass work and gang vocals of “Fight” and the slower yet visceral “Switchblade” (with Skinhead Rob), where there's a firm message to stay clear of these punks as they are armed and ready for any trouble that should arise.

The second side doesn't deviate too much from Side A, not that you'd want it to. “For You” starts off with a thundering delivery of raging punk 'n' roll, while “My Life To Live” recruits Tim Armstrong's (Rancid, Operation Ivy) inimitable vocals on a tune that bares resemblance to Flogging Molly.

Other back half highlights include the nearly thrash-like fury of “Blind Ambition” and the rough and raw street punk of “Streetwise Professor.” “The Viking” ends the listen on calm storytelling about Fredereksen's life with grit and an even bluesy aspect to it.

Viking was the last record from Lars Frederiksen And The Bastards, and they certainly went out with a bang that any and all fans of punk rock will champion. This reissue on the Pirates Press Record Label even comes with an exclusive foil art print insert, a high gloss cover, and a nice thick piece of vinyl. Hell, even if you do own the original, this version is worth picking up for the packaging alone.

Rating: A

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