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Friday, Jan. 5, 2007




It's been said many a time that all good things must come to an end. In the case of punk mainstays Rancid, 2006 saw two chapters in the band's career coming to a close.

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In early November, the California quartet amicably parted ways with original drummer Brett Reed. Formed out of the ashes of Operation Ivy in 1991 by guitarist Tim Armstrong and bassist Matt Freeman, Rancid was joined by Reed a few months before the release of their 1992 EP, "Rancid." It was the first of three self-titled efforts by the band. Branden Steineckert, formerly of The Used, has joined the band as Reed's replacement.

The year also saw the end of Rancid's role as punk rock's ironmen. From 2000 to 2005, the band or one of its members released an album each year: In 2000 and 2003 the group put out discs; In 2001 and 2004 guitarist Lars Frederiksen issued recordings from his side project, Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards (songs for 2004's "Viking" were actually first demoed in Tokyo, shortly after Rancid's last Japanese tour); and Armstrong unveiled material from Transplants, his side project with former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, in 2002 and 2005.

Armstrong attempted to keep the streak alive by putting out a solo record, "A Poet's Life," last year. But after posting just two songs online in August, the project was pushed back until Feb. 6.

It'll pave the way for Rancid's seventh full-length album, which is tentatively set to drop sometime this spring. The act began work on the currently untitled record in December. Fans can likely expect to be among some of the first to hear the new material during their upcoming Japanese dates.

Rancid play Jan. 5 & 6, 5 p.m., at Shinkiba Studio Coast, Tokyo; Jan. 7, 6 p.m., at Zepp Nagoya; Jan. 9, 7 p.m., at Zepp Osaka; Jan. 10, 7 p.m., at Shinsaibashi Club Quattro, Osaka; Jan. 11, 7 p.m., at Hiroshima Club Quattro; Jan. 12, 7 p.m., at Zepp Fukuoka; Jan. 14, 6 p.m. at Yokohama Blitz; Jan. 15, 7 p.m. at Zepp Sendai. All shows 6,500 yen in advance. For more information, call (03) 5466-0777 or visit www.creativeman.co.jp

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