The Beatles ripped off Chuck Berry, and Zeppelin lifted riffs from Willie Dixon, so can we get over Rancid's similarities to the Clash? The comparison has detracted from Rancid's own fine legacy, leaving it even more underrated than its sales figures would suggest. The band members have an undeniable gift for anthemic melodies, as heard on such hits as "Salvation," "Roots Radical," and "Ruby Soho." The last two albums have seen the band tighten the screws on the punk side and deliver a harder-charging sound than earlier albums did.
Boston's the Explosion also excels at fist-in-the-air shout-alongs. Exuberant energy flows through its choruses, giving it a street-punk Oi! feel. But the guitar approach is more eclectic, mixing ragged '70s punk and distortion-drenched riffs that recall Hüsker Dü and the Pixies.