on 1 June 2009
This is a great return to form for rancid,there is a little bit of everything here from dancehall reggae to full on punk and on the whole whilst being varied it's a great album.
All the trademarks are here,tim armstrong's totally lazy voice which makes rancid sound so good,Lars frederiksen's straight up full throttle assault,great playing throughout and a brilliant production from bad religion's brett gurewitz.
In fact it's the best produced album from them yet.
Not sure about matt freemans vocals however,especially on La river....boom shacka lacka....shimmy shimmy shake,it all sounds a bit comedic and while it's incredibly hilarious to listen to i get the feeling that vocal duties should really be left with tim and lars,but that's my opinion.
Stand out songs for me are the title track dominoes fall which is so catchy,that's just the way it is now which is an instant ska classic and you want it,you got it is classic rancid,as good as anything from them!
While the album isn't quite up to the standard of and out come the wolves it's definitely better than the previous ones and a step in the right direction.
The acoustic cd is brilliant too,and shows how good the band are,some of the songs,most noticeably i ain't worried works better like this than the full blown version.
My only disappointment is with the dvd,it states on the box full length dvd but this isn't correct as it only lasts 37 minutes and to be honest because of the way it's been filmed with the black and white effects it's pretty much unwatchable which is a great shame because seeing the behind the scenes with the band is fantastic and i believe all albums should do this as it gives a great insight into the making of the record.
But on this occasion i would have rather had it just normal with no silly effects because imo it spoils the enjoyment completely.
The rest of the package is good too 3 posters and 4 guitar picks,very nice too!
So all in all it's great value and a smashing album too.
Just not the dvd.
on 11 August 2009
Rancid are one of those bands that people think are a lot heavier than they actually are. Up there as being one of the flag-bearers of modern Punk, Mohawks, shaved heads and tattoos, with lyrics that speak of drink, drugs, gangs and fighting, it's easy to see why, however whilst there was a raw Punk edge to the band's first few albums, there has always been a Rock'N'Roll meets Ska backdrop to the band. Rancid are a band that have evolved through their influences: The Clash, Two Tone bands, The Pogues, whilst being hugely influential: Time Again, Left Alone, Orange, Strawberry Blondes, to name but a handful.
So having taking a little break since previous album, 2003's `Indestructible', the band return with their 7th studio album. Although to say that the band have taken a break isn't quite right, what with Lars Frederiksen releasing his second solo album `Viking' in 2004, Tim's side project The Transplants released their second album `Haunted Cities' in 2005, then his own solo album, `A Poet's Life' in 2007, whilst contributing to many other albums and songs especially to other Hellcat Records bands like Time Again, Left Alone and Orange.
Without wanting to accuse Rancid of mellowing, the contrast between `Let The Dominoes Fall' and 2000's self titled album are quite large. On this album we have one true Punk/Hardcore song of `This Place' that is a short-sharp-shot of fast-paced snarling Punk, whereas on the aforementioned 2000 album 16 of the 22 songs were under 2 minutes and bordering on Hardcore-Punk, with the other 6 tracks still being lacking of melody and at feverish pace. Here we even have a slow song thrown into the mix. `Civilian Ways' is a stripped back Country-Folk ballad a little like the Pogues with a slide-guitar, and then `The Highway' is a catchy-Rock song, that speeded up could be an anthem. There are other laid-back tunes like the Ska-fused Punk of `Liberty And Freedom' that could easily have been on Tim's solo album, and it's his album that has a big influence on a number of tracks here. `I Ain't Worried' has the trumpet and keyboard backdrop with Tim's deeper vocal onslaught, whereas `That's Just The Way It Is' has a clash of Ska, Dub and Rock...
There are the usual Rock'N'Roll influences that Lars brings to the band in `Disconnected' where his raspy vocals singing out loud, and the fantastic catchy Rock of `New Orleans', and then the dark Rock of `LA River' whereby we get some `Boom shakka lakka, lakka, lakka. Boom // Shimmie, shimmie, Shake, Shimmie Shake, shimmie, shimmie, shimmie!" something I'd never had thought that I'd hear from Lars! Ha ha. There is some great guitar work here though. Then with Tim back singing we have `Skull City' that has a Rock'N'Roll sing-a-long chorus, and a classic mid-tempo Rancid verse.
Elsewhere on the album we have the opener of, `East Bay Night' that has chugging guitars and almost-harmonies in the chorus. It's a great start. `Up To No Good' is a Ska-influenced track with some nice counting from 1-8. It's a bit like a slower `Timebomb' and could be a future single. This takes us to the current single, `Last One To Die' which is classic Rancid. Big riffs, mid-paced Punk in the verse and sing-a-long chorus. It's another good solid song. `Damnation' is slightly more raw, whilst `The Bravest Kids' could be them covering an Offspring song.
`Lulu' is them at their best managing to have straight-to-the-point lyrics and fast guitars in the verse, whereas this is contrasted in the simple and almost innocent words of, "lulu" of the chorus. The guitars and keyboards duplicate the riffs in the anthem of, `Dominoes Fall', before another sing-a-long Punk Rock song of, `You Want It, You Got It', and there are hyperactive marching drum beats in, `Locomotive' to finish things up.
There is no doubting that the band's 1995 album, `Out Come The Wolves' is considered their best, so here with `Let The Dominoes Fall' you have a more easily accessible Rancid album than we've had in many years. Whilst it's too early to consider this better than, `Out Come The Wolves', it could very well be. Yes, there is no `Ruby Soho' here, but there are enough songs that grow better and better with each listen.
To conclude, for true great Street Punk, Rancid seem to have moved slightly away from this, with bands like Strawberry Blondes, The Briggs and Left alone having released albums that are more Punk Rock. However Rancid are the kings of Ska-Rock'n'Roll influenced Punk, and whilst they are more softcore than hardcore, arguably there is more musical depth now then there has before, and surely that's progress?
on 26 June 2009
There are a few albums that get released that you'll look back on and remember what you were doing at that time in your life. "Let The Dominoes Fall" is one of them. It's been six or so years since their last (awesome) album and it's clear that Tim, Lars, Matt and new drummer Branden have matured. It's not as angry as earlier Rancid, but still gives that ingredient "x" Rancid fans will recognise. It's full of songs that, if they'd been written in the heyday of UK punk, 1001 different bands would be covering these days. From the Rancid new classic "East Bay Nights" to "Up To No Good" (this album's "Red Hot Moon"), and on through the single "Last One To Die" (if Tim had written this for a media star like Pink it'd be No. 1), title track "Dominoes Fall" and the bass-led hats off to the Rancid live crowd "You Want it, You Got It" the quality stays constant. It's clear they enjoyed writing and recording this album, now let's hope the UK tour comes soon!
PS Buy the special edition with the acoustic CD.
on 1 June 2009
ok so its not hard hitting like there, earlier efforts but for the ageing millionaire punks, this is pretty good, 19 tracks a bonus accoustic disc, and a dvd, definateley good value for any rancid fan, the plectrums are paper with a wax covering so pretty unusable, and a couple of posters, all just extra gumpth bunged in, if you are a rancid fan then this is worth buying, but if you are new to the band buy out come the wolves
on 4 May 2012
ive loved the clash since being a 13 yr old skinhead back in 76/77,i never thought i would like a band the same way but iv total respect for rancid,i get a buzz out off listerning to them like i do with strummer jones and co,if you like out cum the wolves,life wont wait,inderstrucible,then you will love this album,there the masters off punk/ska,little bit off oi! thrown in,20 years and still going strong,tim,lars,matt,brett last one to die!
on 20 June 2009
This is great, 19 tracks checking out after 46 minutes. The single Last One To Die is right on the spot and reminds me of that 2 minute blast of brilliance 'Worlds End' - and the memory catapults me back to driving at high speed around a service station in Hammers' car - top dollar. Other great songs are Damnation, The Bravest Kids, Lulu and even the timid Civilian Ways has a cool introspection about it.
Tim Armstrong is along with UK Nige, Bob Mould and John Dagger surely one of the most enchanting vocalists treading this tiny planet. Bauman claims that man cannot learn to love or die, he just experiences it when it happens and it cannot be prepared for or explained - it's a similar thing with music I find ... all part of the evolutionary process - tick tick, ticking ..... (9/10)