Rancid is a group that I discovered when I was becoming a teenager. They were one of those groups that stuck with me from the age of 13 until now, when I am 27. But there is a problem here. Rancid has gotten stale. They have become very, very boring.
The first disc of theirs I discovered is Let’s Go and it was an instant love affair. Then came …Along Came The Wolves and it was growth in a positive direction. Taking everything they did on Let’s Go and perfecting it. Next up was Life Won’t Wait and that release took what they perfected and added experimentation. Those three releases are as good as any punk band ever. And while punk was becoming poppier then ever, Rancid stuck to their roots and gave love to the old school. Ska, US hardcore and the Clash were main influences and it came through in the music.
No we are on Let The Dominoes Fall, their third release since Life Won’t Wait. Since LWW Rancid has been on this even plane were everything sounds the same and it’s not as much fun as it used to me. It’s like they have Bad Religion syndrome. A great punk band that’s best work was years ago. If Rancid called it quits after Life Won’t Wait and Bad Religion after Against the Grain they might be looked at more fondly be people who where there at the start. Instead both groups just keep releasing the same disc over and over again and it’s gotten boring. Maybe they are reaching new fans or maybe they just love making music (or money) but the bottom line is that their best days are far behind them.
I know I haven’t commented much on the actual album and that’s because there isn’t a ton to say. It’s typical Rancid and very similar to their last two releases. The most disappointing part about this disc is the lack of Lars’s voice. He only seems to be on a few tracks and almost has equal time with Matt in to vocal department. Not that I don’t enjoy Matt’s raspy delivery but this group is at their best when Lars and Tim play off one another. Other than that it’s just a stale release. I think even the hardest of the hardcore Rancid fan base has to be a little bored by now, but maybe not. I’d suggest any of their first 4 discs over this. They have just gotten too stagnant.