Punk is a modern-day anomaly in music terms, because it continually does so well for such a truly unmelodic genre of music. Not to negate the message punk bands often aim to bring forth with the songs they write and the performances they give, but if it’s melody and harmony you’re looking for, Rancid’s new album, “Let The Dominoes Fall” is not what you should be listening to. If you are looking for an energetic record to synchronize your fist-raising to, as you protest oppression, society, and the man, then this is the CD for you.
Rancid have long proven themselves to be at the forefront of their ska-punk genre and this, their seventh studio album, is going to keep them at the front of the race. The nineteen tracks showcased here cover politics, community, friendship, war, and love with an anthemic punk vibe, and just the right smattering of mellow folk rock.
The first single off the album, “Last One To Die” is a rocking tongue-in-cheek tune as the band alludes to the long break they had between this and their last album, and says that they’ll be the last punk rockers standing, the last ones to die. It’s a hit, for sure.
Where modern bands like “Rise Against” often sound angry in their protest songs, “Rancid” manages to pull off delivering a message with a much more appealing sound. When, on the track “Disconnected”, they claim to be disconnected from the country they love, it sounds more like a call for a community to come together happily than a protest message.
The album gets less ska and more modern rock on tracks like “New Orleans”, “The Bravest Kids”, and “L.A. River”, while songs like “Civilian Ways” and the good times-centered closing song, “The Highway” are sing-along tunes in their own mellow way.
Making music with their friends, as Tim Armstrong sings in “The Highway”, definitely seems to be what Rancid is best at and punk rockers everywhere are going to welcome them back with open arms because of this record, in hope that it won’t be another six years before the next CD.