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With ‘Trouble Maker,’ Rancid Tells Us Where They’re Going With Hot Album: To The Top of the Charts

Rancid Tackles Important Issues with New Record

By DONNA BALANCIA

Rancid’s new record, Trouble Maker, was inspired by freedom of speech and people using music as a message, and they’re making their point. There aren’t too many who escape the band’s smartly crafted barbs on the new record.

America’s most undervalued punk rock and roll band tackles some tough subjects on their latest release, Trouble Maker. There’s no doubt Rancid is a national treasure, and has risen in importance, bringing the political messages as did our beloved The Clash. Trouble Maker proves Rancid’s hot date with The Big Time has finally arrived.

Rancid has a history of controversy and Trouble Maker is no different. The guys tackle some tough subjects in an upbeat way and continually create an aura of protest. The album starts with the truly fast and ripping “Track Fast.”

Tim Armstrong photo courtesy of Rancid

‘Ghost of a Chance’

It’s followed by the excellent and somewhat familiar sounding “Ghost of a Chance.”  Did Tim Armstrong and The Interrupters play it at Coachella when the Rancid frontman joined them onstage? Memory fails. That’s not the only breakdown as Rancid sings of failed love, society, and also dead great people throughout the new record.

Even the love songs on the record are under the gun, like the song “Buddy,” where even the loving nostalgia is tainted with a dose of pouring rain.

Trouble Maker addresses society’s issues – Photo courtesy Rancid

California Rocker Favorite: ‘Where I’m Going’

“Farewell Lola Blue,” is a great power anthem, a poignant — even for Rancid — tribute to a mystery WW2 dive bomber pilot.  But of course it has the Rancid beat and the guys rip out a powerful tune, one of the most fun songs on the record.

“All American Neighborhood” is about the demise of our country, doctors and pharmacists on the take, and how the shit has really hit the fan here in the U.S.  It’s not the first time Big Pharma has taken a beating, but nobody delivers it quite as quickly and efficiently as Rancid on this great song.

Rancid takes aim at Big Pharma, drug-dealing fake doctors and jerks in general with Trouble Maker

“Bovver Rock and Roll” truly is a great rock and roll song that brings a bit of 1970s power sound to the record. If they did it like that back then, like Rancid does it now, the 70s wouldn’t have died off.

Our favorite is the soon-to-be-megahit “Where I’m Going,” which blends an upbeat ska beat with a pledge that “You don’t understand where I am, or where I been or where I’m goin.'” But the guys are wrong.  With Trouble Maker, Rancid’s goin’ right to the top. Trouble Maker is a winner.

Check it out Trouble Maker for yourself — or better yet, BUY IT — and check out Rancid’s website for tour dates.

NEW: Rancid and Dropkick Murphys Tour – Five Calif Stops Include Avila Beach, SD, LA and Sacramento

‘Boston to Berkeley’ Tour – The Name Says it All

By JOHN DALY

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys have announced the co-headlining From Boston To Berkeley Tour which will make five California stops, including San Diego, Sacramento, Berkeley, LA and San Luis Obispo in August.

The Bouncing Souls and Jake Burns, The Selecter and Kevin Seconds, support.

“Rancid is looking forward to hitting the road with our brothers the Dropkick Murphys,” said Rancid’s Tim Armstrong.

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys go back a ways. In 1997, Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen found a copy of Dropkick Murphys’ original EP at a friend’s house. He gave it to his bandmate and Hellcat Records President Armstrong, who signed the band to his new label.

“It’s a long time coming with these two bands touring together,” said Rancid’s Frederiksen. “There is so much history between both of us that it should make for a great tour. We look forward to seeing all of our friends and family out there.”

Rancid started following the breakup of Armstrong and Matt Freeman’s Berkeley-based band, Operation Ivy. In 1993, Rancid signed with longtime producer, and label founder, Brett Gurewitz of Bad Religion and Epitaph Records. Gurewitz stayed on as producer.

Rancid, comprised of Armstrong, Frederiksen, Freeman and Branden Steineckert, has stayed independent. They have their own independent booking agent, they’re on an independent record label, Hellcat/Epitaph, and they make their own t-shirts. The band releases its ninth studio album this year.

Dropkick Murphys are touring in support of their 11 Short Stories Of Pain and Glory album, released through the band’s own Born and Bred Records earlier this year.

The band founded The Claddagh Fund, a charity to help support addiction recovery as well as children’s and veterans’ organizations. Dropkick Murphys–Al Barr, Tim Brennan, Ken Casey, Jeff DaRosa, Matt Kelly, James Lynch– raise funds, mentor, and lend a helping hand with veterans, youth sports, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Dropkick Murphys have become ambassadors for their city. In Boston, it seems like everybody knows someone connected to the band whether by blood, friendship, or the time they shared a brew at a Boston Bruins game.

For more information on the tour check out The Dropkick Murphys  or Rancid pages.

 

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