After the first listen to this album, I was a little dissapointed and confused. Who is this over-produced, repetitive band? Not just repetitive because Tim Armstrong is drunk, either.
Maybe this stems from being a long-time Rancid fan. I’m personally an …And Out Come the Wolves kinda girl, but I love me some Let’s Go and even Indestructible. I liked where they were going with Indestructible at least…a more introspective look back on the good old days. They could have gone anywhere after that album, but it looks like one step forward, two steps back for Rancid.
This album is simply overproduced, which just sounds wrong. That’s what made Rancid so special to me…that raw, un-messed-with punk with the funky, reggae beat. It sounded like it was recorded in someone’s closet with a few good friends and a case of PBR, the way punk’s supposed to be! A bunch of drunk guys having fun and making music.
During these past six years, the pop empire has been churning out pop-punk messes like Good Charlotte and Simple Plan. The sad part is, is that this shit sells. Perhaps Rancid will get themselves a piece of this shit-punk profitability, but at the expense of alienating their long time fans? Bummer.
There are a few high points to the album, namely Branden Steineckert, former drummer for The Used. Who knew!? The drums are tight as can be on this album. Other high points include, “Last One to Die” (overproduced as it is), “LA River”, “New Orleans”, “Dominoes Fall”, and “Liberty and Freedom”. Complete misses are, “Lulu”, the incredibly repetitive, “East Bay Night” and “Outgunned”, and the disjointed, “Locomotive”.
If you’re a Rancid fan, I would say go ahead and get this album, simply for the fact that you’ll be able to appreciate the few good points. I would absolutely not recommend this album to someone who has never listened to Rancid before. Tell that person to go get a real Rancid album. C