Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards

Viking (Hellcat Records)

Rancid side projects need no longer be feared. The Bastards contain exactly zero members of Blink-182. Instead, Frederiksen has stolen former Forgotten guitarist Craig Leg and borrowed Forgotten/Slip singer Gordy. On Viking, his second solo effort, Frederiksen offers seventeen tracks of variable-speed rock with gruff MotŲrhead vocals. The first several are fierce back-to-back rants that seem unstoppable. Sadly, that's when the inane "Switchblade" pulls the stopper out. After a fun cover of the Blasters' "Marie, Marie," the pace quickens again, only to killed by the repetitive "Mainlining Murder." Meanwhile, "My Life to Live," a bawdy Irish-tinged duet with Tim Armstrong, is the surprising highlight, with Rancid's Matt Freeman providing mandolin. The intriguing "Viking" finishes up with a bluesy orchestrated, brutal confession that somehow resembles, of all things, Bob Seger. While Viking is an unwieldy, hit-and-miss set of songs, the program feature on the stereo pares it down to a digestible dish. It's regrettable, though, that the Forgotten was parted out to stock this vehicle.
 
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