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RANCID – ‘Trouble Maker’ Album Review

RANCID – Trouble Maker

rancidOpening Rancid’s 17 track epic album, Trouble Maker, is the aptly named Track Fast, a full on 100m.p.h. punk rock thriller and it serves as the first taste of a varied and massively appealing album. The next track, Ghost Of A Chance has been available for a few weeks and it’s a folks punk romp with a slight nod to the Pogues. Telegraph Avenue is another track that was pre-released and it’s an absolute belter of a song commemorating the protest culture of the bands hometown and the sing-along chorus is one that will take stadiums by storm this summer as the band tours the world…for me, a punk classic!

An Intimate Close Up Of A Street Punk Troublemaker is the title track (sorta, kinda!) and speeds things up again with a D-beat drum and some powerful group vocals (one of the stand out sounds of this album is the group vocals). On Where I’m Going, Rancid show us their ska chops first honed in Operation Ivy and, it appears perfectly positioned on this album as it contrasts perfectly with the first four songs and is ready for radio airplay. The thing with Rancid is that they are authentic and it shows with every note – these guys are all about their comrades in arms, protesting at inequality and celebrating the small things that matter. Buddy focuses on a nostalgic look at friendship with a local (I live in San Francisco) flavor including a BART train ride to San Francisco with a friend and the song simply rocks along with a neat keyboard solo.

The 17 track album gives the band room to explore a range of sounds from the Oi! infused Farewell Lola Blue to the straight up punk rock of All American Neighborhood (reminded me of Pennywise) and the glam-rock infused Bovver Rock And Roll with its Slade circa 1972 vibe!

Make It Out Alive seriously rocks things up again with a boot stomping, fists in the air chorus. The next track, Molly Make Up Your Mind is a Rancid trademark with full on terrace chant chorus and growled vocal verse and it’s the first song of three track section that I just loved. It’s followed by the skiffle/rockabilly/punk I Got Them Blues Again that demands movement (as the band say “see you in the pit!”) and then Beauty Of The Pool Hall is a rock and roll/12 bar blues frolic bound to get those feet moving with a super bass interlude as well!

On Say Goodbye To Our Heroes, Rancid celebrate the likes of David Bowie, Lemmy and others dearly loved and sadly departed who clearly had a huge influence on Rancid and the movement in general – it’s a song worthy of its subject matter. The last three songs start with the chanted I Kept A Promise that reminded me of the Sex Pistols with the guitar sound. Cold Cold Blood is a raucous punk rock effort and leads to the conclusion, This Is Not The End, a sub-two minute hardcore punk rock effort that is a punch to the solar plexus.

A definite contender for album of the year and one that every punk rocker needs in their collection. Get it from the Rancid website – http://rancidrancid.com/ – Check out their tour dates and hope to see you in the pit at Hyde Park, London on July 1st!

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