Rancid dropped their eight and latest album, “…Honor Is All We Know”, Yesterday on Hellcat Records. I listened. I formulated an opinion. Instead of a review (like some critic dick would do), I give you 5 “Honorable Reasons To Give A Shit About This Album.”
Click play, and read on.
5. …Honor Is All We Know Is Out On Hellcat Records.
You might remember a time, back in the early Nineties, when a little label known as Epitaph Records began making a name for itself by releasing early records from the likes off The Offspring, Pennywise, Bad Religion, and well, you guessed it, Rancid!
The reason I bring this up is that in the past few years Epitaph’s prominence has somewhat dwindled in the punk rock community.They seem to be putting out music by (in this writers opinion) untalented, non original musicians. Their new music just doesn’t seem to have that spark, know what I mean? For god’s sake Falling In Reverse is signed to Epitaph.
For example Epitaph went from this:
Dont worry, there is a glimmer of light! Hellcat Records (an imprint of Epitaph), started by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, seems to have captured the spirit that Epitaph once had. And what I mean by spirit is they have been putting out a TON of good music. The Interrupters, Transplants, Tiger Army, The Slackers….All on Hellcat.
There used to be a time, long ago, when you would be browsing the latest releases at your local CD shop (Ya, I said long time ago), and you would pick up an album simply because it was released on Epitaph. Without even knowing the band…There was a certain “trust” you put in the label as far as finding good music went. Hellcat is slowly becoming the new Epitaph, and I’m happy Rancid Released this album on Tim’s Label.
4. …In True Punk Rock Fashion, They Don’t Give A Shit What’s Popular Right Now.
It’s a Rancid Album, and it sounds like a Rancid Album. Something tells me they’re really not looking for radio play. Generally speaking if your looking at popular alternative or rock music right now, a great majority of it has a bit of an Indie Pop feel too it. I’m not saying those new Foo Fighter singles that everyone’s been loosing their shit over sound like Indie Pop – Simmer down. But if your generally looking at what’s popular, and what people are digging now a days, it’s definitely not this kind of music. It’s been kicked under the rug. I remember a few weeks ago, waking up to Rancid trending on Facebook and I almost shit myself.
With all that said, it’s nice they’re staying true to what they do. It doesn’t sound the same, the music has some evolution, but it’s familiar, and you can dig that. The album sounds great. Here’s the 3 song video they released a few weeks ago.
3. …Matt Freeman Singing.
Rancid has a legendary bassist. His name is Matt Freeman. This guy is so well know and so well respected for his style of playing, and he’s one of the original members of the band along with Tim….He also always seems to be wearing a black shirt.
Now the singing duties of Rancid usually go back and forth between Tim and guitarist Lars Frederiksen. But sometimes, SOMETIMES, Matt will sing on a song, and when he does. It’s wonderful. He has such a “fuck you, I’m going to sing” style of singing, that just puts a smile on your face.
Matt sings on …Honor Is All We Know.
2. …The Albums Production Is Handled By Brett Gurewitz
Yes. The guitarist of Bad Religion handled the production on this Album. Something I feel was a really good call, as someone who is also in a long running staple punk band, I feel Brett would know how to contribute enough without comprising the original sound. The production is solid. Rancid (and many other punk bands for that matter) have their bass layered a lot higher and more distinct throughout the record. It sounds great. Brett also produced 2003’s Indestructible among other projects for the band.
Although on some tracks, you can really tell Brett had a part in it. Take a listen to “Already Dead” and try to tell me it doesn’t sound like a Bad Religion & Rancid Mash Up. Specifically the vocal harmonies and the guitar licks. Not that’s a bad thing, it sounds great. But if this song were a bathroom stall, “Brett Gurewitz Wuz Here” would be engraved all over it.
1. …Back Where They Belong
It’s been 5 years since Rancid put out an album. But they’ve kept busy;
I mean, there’s The transplants:
and Tim Timebomb & Friends:
and The Old Firm Casuals:
and Devils Brigade:
and Apocalypse Radio:
Among Others. Basically The Members of Rancid have a shit ton of side projects with other people, it’s unbelievable they’re able to get in a room together at all to record. But Tim Armstrong says it best on the opening track…”I’m Back Where I Belong.” With all the side projects and other bands, they are either the absolute hardest working band on earth, OR the members save their best shit for Rancid.
It’s a great album. Rancid’s at a weird point of their career, where their older albums are starting to be the ones people will always want and remember. But I feel like this one has some staying power. Check it out here.
~ Daly lives in a Tropical London working on Time Bombs for When The Wolves Come Out. Follow Him On Twitter @DalyRy. Let’s Go.