Review Summary: After five years Rancid come back with a not-so-tasty record, disappointingly dull and already heard.
Rancid’s fanbase can be divided into two categories: those who keep buying their albums no matter what they sound like, defining them masterpieces anyway, and those who try to be sensible and recognise when an album of theirs does not make any sense at all and therefore it should not be bought.
In particular, this “long-awaited” eighth studio album does not make a lot of sense.
Not because it’s bad, since it has also some pleasureable yet, honestly, not too valuable songs, but it’s the most irrelevant record they have ever released.
, which was arguably the last properly worth-listening release, the band has not improved nor tried to do anything different, like they did in 1998 with Life Won’t Wait
, adding a dash of ska to the once solid punk-revival sound, following the path taken in 1995 with the hit Time Bomb
What Honor Is All We Know
sounds like is Indestructible
, but with a vocalist that after eleven years has completely lost his voice, banal guitar riffs and totally non-existent bass lines, which were kind of the signature of the band, as Matt Freeman’s skills distinguished them from other punk groups during the 90’s.
As a result, all the tracks sound very flat and aimless: there is no song which impose itself upon the others, and even the title-track, despite being catchy and enjoyable, struggles to be recognised among the others.
Also, the only two ska-ish songs are rather dull, one the copy of another. Evil’s My Friend
is unlistenable while Everybody’s Suffering
seems just a faster and slightly better reprise of the former: they are the classic example of the lack of variety that this album presents.
Well-thought are instead the opening and closing tracks: Back Where I Belong
is catchy enough to trick you into carrying on listening to the record, while Grave Digger
is harder than most of the other songs, embodying a sort of power closing to an overall boring album and trying to improve a little bit your general impression on it.
That does not mean they are the best songs though. Even if, as stated before, trying to find a stand-out track is a bit of a hard job, the duo Already Dead
is somewhat interesting, for being entertaining and sounding a little fresher than the rest, which is really mediocre.
It is not clear whether this album was put together just to earn a few bucks or it was really intended to be enjoyed by the band’s enthusiasts, but the result is anyway quite unsatisfying.
Let the Dominoes Fall
might not have been a brilliant album, but it was certainly not this tedious. It had more dynamic songs, some were good and many were bad, but the result was more interesting musically speaking. This record, despite not being a complete disaster, is just very average and boring throughout most of its 33 minutes.
With that said, if you belong to the first category (see para 1) then you will have no problem in finding this album fun to listen to, but if you do not and you are not looking for a laugh then you are highly recommended to skip it, avoiding to spoil the memories of the awesome early releases.