If Lars Frederiksen's first solo project was a welcome addition to the Rancid family, his second record is like a dog crawling back home after rolling in something very rancid. Viking is a generic record made up of by-the-numbers punk tracks unaided by minor things like melodies, thoughtful lyrics, or surprises. The sound is ultraprocessed and hook-free, the musicians competent at best. The songs are pretty silly and childish, whether about murder ("Mainlining Murder"), guns and violence ("1%" and "Switchblade"), sex with hookers ("My Life to Live," a duet with Lars' better half, Tim Armstrong), or how tough and wonderful Lars is ("Streetwise Professor"). In fact, of the songs are about Lars and his self-mythology, most laughably on the last track on the record, "The Viking." Lars speak-sings his life story over weeping strings and churchified organ, reaching the high point when he calls out, "Sorry ladies, I'm married to the sea." The record is just so damn boring and sleazy (check out the lovely sub-Suicide Girls photos in the CD booklet -- or better yet, don't) and self-important. It feels like the kind of record bands like Zeppelin and Grand Funk were making in the '70s, the kind of bland, irrelevant record punk aimed to wipe out. Having Armstrong, who has one of the best and most distinctive voices around, sing a track also points out one major flaw of the record, that being Frederiksen's generically gruff and tuneless voice. Listening to Rancid albums, you would have no idea that something so lame could come from their ranks. It's sad but true, and Viking is the proof.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra