Time for this here Glitziner
to really come clean and fess up that I was a very late convert to the wonderful
world of "Rancid".
It was a late hazy August afternoon in 2001 and I was in a festival field somewhere in Berkshire. As usual I was on a mission to find the next new thing. My quality control radar had been set high for "Early Indie Warnings" so this in turn had mainly directed me well away from that year's main stage.
But, as music health warnings were suitably relaxed and I edged that bit closer to indie - fernal damnation, I encountered the sucker punch one two jab of a song I now know as "Avenues and Alleyways". The force and energy of the delivery totally knocked me senseless and yours truly certainly had some hearty helpings of musical humble pie to start wolfing down (damn you "Green Day et all"), along with an expansive "Rancid" back catalogue to purchase.
Such was the ferocity of my epiphany that "Rancid" could use me as a case study of what their music can do emotively for someone willing to open their minds just a little, and take them pop/punk blinkers off.
"Let The Dominoes Fall"
then is album number seven from "Tim Armstrong's" street punk rebel
rousers, and their first studio album since 2003's superb "Indestructible,"
and in the main man's own words "The crew is back doing what we do best."
This time around the subtle twists and surprises come think and fast, and when the likes of "Booker T" wants to play Hammond on your record (he does on the fantastic skank that is "Up to No Good") you know you must be busting one fat joint of a tune.
"Let The Dominoes Fall" certainly sees the band in fine fettle from the get go and ready to raise their usual hobnailed boot trademarked merry hell. But, if you want a yardstick of just how much this band has matured as songwriters then take a listen to "Civilian Wars" or album closer "The Highway" both of which could just as easily sit on a "Steve Earle" album as this "Rancid" opus, both telling stories that draw you in just like a moth to a flame.
But lets not get ahead of
ourselves here and lose sight of what makes "Rancid" so fucking special,
and that is they write one hell of a punk rock racket.
The album's lead track "Last One to Die" is classic "Rancid", strung along on "Armstrong's" infectious drawl, this tune really should be first on everyone's lips when thinking of tracks to get that all night rock n roll party started, this long hot summer.
Elsewhere "Disconnected" and "New Orleans" are pure "Lars" rawk, and if I'm honest are normally the stuff that really floats my punk rock boat.
However it's the strength of the "Tim Armstrong" fronted tracks this time around that have me pressing the repeat button again and again. From "Skull City's" surftastic vibe to the "Blondie/Jon Holt" like reggae shuffle of "That's Just The Way It Is" this is a man on a mission, most probably to convert musical heathens just like what I was (copyright Ernest Wise).
"Let The Dominoes Fall" is most certainly a triumph on many fronts, not least the rather splendid Special Edition Package of 2 CD's and a DVD that you can get your sweaty mitts on for around £15 and contains oodles of cool collectable shit.
If you don't believe me when I say this really is a landmark album for "Rancid", then listen to "Tim Armstrong" again when he says "We approached every element of this record as a team, and the result is my favourite "Rancid record" to date."
Well, It's also fast becoming
this reviewer's favourite too.
"Oi Oi Oi"
5 out of 5
by Johnny H.
Visit the Rancid Website