Rancid - Trouble Maker album review
The long-serving Cali punks take it back to the old school
For the past 20 years, Rancid have faced the same criticism with each album: “But it’s not …And Out Come The Wolves.” That album shaped what Rancid would become, and instilled a sound of American angst in a generation of punks from the US and beyond. Rancid’s sound evolved over decades, but now, on their ninth record, the veterans have harnessed the past with 17 songs of ska-punk fury.
Clocking in at 37 minutes, it gallops along with no time-outs as Tim Armstrong’s gravelly voice barks out choruses so infectious you’ll still be singing along when 10 pints deep, which is Rancid’s raison d’etre. They’re the band we stand arm in arm with, swaying dangerously, screaming at the moon with our brothers and sisters until morning comes.
Unsurprisingly, gang vocals dominate proceedings, and there’s an inherent swagger throughout, conjuring everything from the Bouncing Souls to The Clash. And while their lyrics aren’t as pointed as Rise Against’s latest, turned up loud it’s impossible not to surrender yourself to the positive power of punk.
From the ‘na-na-na’s of Telegraph Avenue to the fist-in-the-air anthem Make It Out Alive and the arena-sized chorus of Farewell Lola Blue, this album is a solid reminder of what Rancid are capable of.