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Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 7 / 7 / 2009

Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall
Label: Epitaph Records
Format: CD


Memorable, politically-charged seventh album from durable Californian-based punks, Rancid

Rancid are a hard and easy band to write about. What can you say about them that hasn't already been said? This is another Rancid album, and if you’ve heard their other albums you’ll have a good idea of what it will sound like. The thing with them is that they have such a distinct sound that they always run the risk of sounding exactly the same, but this is also their charm. Why should everything progress to the point where it is unrecognisable from what it first set out to be. This band are a testament to sticking to your guns and staying true to what works for you. 'Let the Dominoes' is Rancid’s seventh studio album and, six years from their last album, is a return to their usual form. Their previous album, ‘Indestructible’ was probably their most commercially successful album, although it never quite got the same reaction and kudos as their 1995 third album‘...And Out Come the Wolves’, which is in many people's opinion their best offering. This is fair enough, although every album since then has been compared to that and this is no exception. Even just to look at the sleeve and album artwork there is a really recognisable similarity. But do you know what? I like this. Why not? Rancid have a strong brand identity and they use this well. This runs throughout their music as well. They are punk rock through and through, but have always been something special as above all they are excellent song writers and write tunes that are memorable, catchy and anthemic, without just relying on being just memorable for being fast paced or down right angry. Their song writing to me is comparable to the likes of the Clash or even Bob Dylan with its roots-y, modern folk edge. They vent the issues they sing about in a skilled way and have done since they first started out in 1991. 'Let the Dominoes Roll', like ‘Indestructible’ also has a refined and mature edge to it, but it is unmistakably Rancid. Both singers/song writers Lars Fredriksen and Tim Armstrong have instantly recognisable voices so you know exactly who it is straight away. Within the first two songs, sing along punk anthem ‘East bay Night’ and full-on bounce-around song, ‘This Place’, you know they’ve unleashed another classic Rancid album. It is, as with some of their other records, nineteen songs full of all original material. I wonder if this is some kind of homage to the Clash’s 'London Calling'. Either way they manage to fill the album up and there is very little filler. Some bands need about three or four albums to manage this. The stand out tracks for me come throughout the album. One highlight track is the ska based ‘Up to Know Good’, which features Booker T on Hammond Organ and has a serious dance hall swing feel to it. You can imagine the good mohicaned folk of the world skanking along to this any night of the week. This album does seem to have a more worldly conscious feel to it, delving into such subjects as religion, poverty and the current economic climate, the New Orleans floods and specifically the plight of the U.S. soldiers during the recent Iraq war. Other highlights include the title track and ‘Locomotive’ and my favourite ‘L.A. River’ which adds yet more subtle diversity to the album with it’s rockabilly stylings. This is all stuff that the many, many legions of Rancid fans out there will no doubt love. It took me about three listens to really get into, so be patient. The songs at first sound so familiar that you can’t help but compare them to this and that song, but with every listen the songs begin to sink in and take a life of their own and lodge into your head on their own merit.

Track Listing:-
1 East Bay Night
2 This Place
3 Up To No Good
4 Last One To Die
5 Disconnected
6 I Ain't Worried
7 Damnation
8 New Orleans
9 Civilian Ways
10 The Bravest Kids
11 Skull City
12 L.A. River
13 Lulu
14 Dominoes Fall
15 Liberty and Freedom
16 You Want It, You Got It
17 Locomotive
18 That's Just The Way It Is Now
19 The Highway
20 Oil and Opium (Exclusive Bonus Track)
21 Outgunned [for pre-order only]
22 Digital Booklet: Let The Dominoes Fall

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