Album review

Rancid : Indestructible
Hellcat Records

Rancid : indestructibleEveryone knows it's hardly been the best couple of years for premium punkers Rancid. Since 2000's self-titled album, Lars Frederiksen's older brother Robert sadly passed away while Tim Armstrong grieved with the rest of the world at the death of a good friend; legendary Clash kingpin Joe Strummer. On top of this Tim has also been through a painful separation from Distillers frontwoman Brody. Did they hide away from society? Did they write a tribute-ridden album of sadness and despair? Did they hell. Rancid are back with all guns blazing and one of their best releases yet . . .
    From the second you see the artwork you just know its going to be first-rate: The black and red picture of Lars' huge mohican in front of palm trees and telegraph poles stays true to Rancid's back catalogue. And it's not just the artwork that acknowledges their past, because the gritty old school punk rock and sun-kissed reggae tinges of Indestructible show that the guys have also rediscovered the sound of the seminal . . . And Out Come The Wolves.

The title track and opener does not mess about: "And I know I'm indestructible," heave Tim's sandpaper vocals, as Matt Freeman's rumbling bass bounces through the speakers while Lars plays a section reminiscent of Poison from their last CD. It may be a short song that only spans just over a minute and a half, but it makes a big statement: Rancid are back.
    After the back-to-form sound of Indestructible, we're presented with the first single, Fall Back Down; a song so catchy you'll need a detox at a health farm to eject it from your system. It's not just a catchy song, it's a review of Tim Armstrong's last twelve months: "I had a bad year to go through, been knocked down, beat down, black and blue."
    Indestructible, for the most part, is an album criss-crossed with songs about recent events, most of which are not good things. But, unlike other bands that go through hard spells (such as British indie rockers Feeder), Rancid have been able to make songs from these experiences that refrain from mentioning what has happened in detail. There is no whinging and no whining, they simply march forward and pay dues and tributes where fitting and necessary.
    Arrested In Shanghai and Red Hot Moon feature more than a hint of Jamaican-influenced organ, Ghost Band has the unity of the band singing together and Tropical London pays tribute to The Clash.
    This collection of songs is simply awesome. There is something about them that not only re-affirms Rancid's position in the modern punk rock scene, but adds a whole element of life to their music.

Indestructible is essential for any fan of Rancid, and any fan of the punk genre in general. If you have never listened to them before it's the perfect set of songs to be introduced to, and if you're a long time fan, you certainly will not be disappointed. In your face, Brody!

:: Graham Drummond

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.