Rancid/Let The Dominoes Fall

Rancid are an American Punk Rock band from Albany, California. Formed in 1991 from the ashes of SKA punk band Operation Ivy, the band helped renew American interest in a faltering Punk Rock Scene. After an extended hiatus, Rancid returned to the charts in June 2009 with this, their seventh studio release.

East Bay Night—-At once familiar and pleasing, the song is way, way accessible. Reminding me of classic Social Distortion, the song reeks of the California punk scene. This is a surprisingly accessible song that could be played on any radio station.

This Place—-With a slight more welcoming aggression, the song has a classic punk rock sound without being overly snotty. I like this, but I was expecting far more.

Up To No Good—-With an obvious nod to the bands SKA roots, this song is pleasant and mainstream. That has a slight level of disappointment for me, but the song will stand on it’s merits alone. Not bad by any means, I was just expecting more.

Last One To Die—-A little bit more in line for the sound that I was thirsting for, the song has a nice snotty edge to it that I really enjoy.The vocal is pleasing and slightly whining, while the bevy of back up vocals add a huge touch to the punk elements of the track. Great!!

Disconnected—-One is hard pressed to exactly define the sound of this track…there are punk elements, Southern Ca. elements and a slight SKA feel to it…..perhaps divine is a correct explanation? This is great, I love the raw elements as well as the basic punk elements.

I Ain’t Worried—-Again, very SKA in theory, the song is kind of hilarious. I like the odd deadpan vocals that change like the sound of the band. This is pleasant to listen to and something that caught on with me from the first listen.

Damnation—-This is what I have been begging for. This is straight up classic California Surf Punk. I love this…it made me smile from the first note and made me think back to the old days of bands like Agent Orange. Beautiful….short and to the point.

New Orleans—-Another track that instantly attracted me to this release. I love the energy and the noise of this song. I love the dual vocal and the fact that the voice is so in your face. The static of the music is pushed way to the back of the mix, yet the energy never diminishes. Excellent!

Civilian Ways—-WOW….this is very odd! Features a Spanish guitar sound that is completely foreign to me on a Rancid release. This is almost blues inspired. The vocal is so laid back and relaxed…I just don’t know what to make of this song?

The Bravest Kids—-Loud and Snotty……just the way I like my punk rock!!! This is incredible! I love this track…the vocal is almost relaxed but the music travels at a speed that is just ‘slammable’. A must hear!!! A true testament to those who are busy fighting for freedom.

Skull City—-A tad bit more mellow, the song does have some nice musical highlights that should not be ignored. The vocals are nice and come across really well when overlay ed in the Rancid style. Nice!

LA River—-Great bursts of bass guitar, a vocal that is almost growling..interspersed with a clean vocal that mixes things up nicely. The pace of the song is frantic and hyper. All the elements that you would expect from this seasoned set of rockers.

Lulu—-Combining both elements from the California punk sound and the bands SKA roots, this song is a nice schizophrenic mix of pleasure. The vocal is wonderful and the double style singing really works here. I love this song….even for it’s silliness.

Dominoes Fall—-Again, the band returns to a SKA sound on this track….and do it incredibly well. The vocal is unremarkable, but the drum and the short blasts of guitars add so much to the song that it stands on that alone. Very Nice!

Liberty And Freedom—-Not at all what I was expecting…..the song has classic Rancid SKA leanings but also has an almost Country tinge to it. I guess after all this time, one expects a favorite band to surprise and expand and the band succeeds quite well with this track.

You Want It. You Got It—-Definite throwback to early Social Distortion, this song travels at a very nice pace. The chorus is a sing song type of punk anthem that pleases everyone who listens to it. I LOVE THIS BAND!!!

Locomotive—-More aggressive and raw. The guitar is noisy and abrasive. I love how this band manages to mix so many sounds into one release. This is classic, noisy punk rock.

That’s Just The Way It Is Now—-Almost straight up Reggae, this song is pleasing and accessible to everyone. The vocal is way in front of the mix and loud in the headphones. This is exceptional!!

The Highway—-Ending the release on another almost country feel, the song has a nice acoustic guitar delivery that is really pleasant. I’m already waiting for the next release and hoping it does not take 4 years this time!!!

****1/2 out of 5


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