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.”
‘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.
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.
“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.