Released: June 2nd 2023
Tim Armstrong, vocals, guitar,
Matt Freeman, bass guitar, vocals,
Lars Frederiksen, guitar, vocals,
Branden Steineckert, drums, percussion, backing vocals,
Kevin Bivona , keyboards, backing vocals
2. “Mud, Blood, & Gold” 1:12
3. “Devil in Disguise” 1:58
4. “New American” 2:37
5. “The Bloody & Violent History” 2:14
6. “Don’t Make Me Do It” 0:58
7. “It’s a Road to Righteousness” 2:18
8. “Live Forever” 1:21
9. “Drop Dead Inn” 2:01
10. “Prisoners Song” 2:21
11. “Magnificent Rogue” 1:25
12. “One Way Ticket” 1:50
13. “Hellbound Train” 1:25
14. “Eddie the Butcher” 1:34
15. “Hear Us Out” 1:26
16. “When the Smoke Clears” 1:39
But come it has and unlike many bands releasing new albums these days, a Rancid release still means something. There’s a buzz surrounding it, a definite level of excitement and anticipation. Just like, for want of a better description, the way it used to and should be.
They stamped their footprint on the world with genre defining albums such as ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ which contained the content that people could relate to, embrace and accept the band as the voice they desperately needed. As with all bands whose lights shine brightest, Rancid have of course created a score of copycats over the years. None have had the impact that Rancid have and whilst many were waiting in the wings for that light to burn itself out, it never has and in 2023, we find ourselves excitedly reviewing the band’s 10th studio album.
I suppose the key component here is ‘expectation and anticipation’. We aren’t expecting surprises but this is the band that gave us ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ so the bar is of course a high one as far as quality is concerned.
As such, with a slightly nervous tremble in the hand, I pressed play. ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ a title alone that raises a smile because we’ve been thinking that about new Rancid music for years and yet, it has come, it’s here and from the off, it’s just what the doctor ordered. The doctor in question sitting in the producer’s chair is none other than ‘old faithful’ himself, Brett Gurewitz. Opening with the title track, the band deliver the style and energy that we recognise when they reconvene. It’s the sound of a collective and reminds us just what they can do when all sat round the same table together.
Sponsored by Weight Watchers, the album wins the award for Slimmer of the Month, clocking in a just 28-odd minutes yet giving us 16 tracks in total. Each song does exactly what it needs to. Turn up, make your point, fuck off…. Job done. Only five of the songs need to take more than 5 minutes to make the intended point. The shortest track, ‘Don’t Make Me Do It’ manages to shoehorn it’s messaging into the mix in under a minute (as well as sounding more than a little like Gurewitz’s own Bad Religion along the way).
Short, sharp, to the point (as always), the seven year gap since ‘Trouble Maker’ has done the band no harm at all and if anything, it’s allowed them to offer us an album that feels as modern as it does reflective. Not many acts can do that but (not as expected but certainly as hoped for) Rancid have done it with ease.
Reviewed by : Adrian Hextall
The tour includes a show at London’s OVO Arena, Wembley on June 20, followed by a second gig at the O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester on June 21. The London show has been upgraded from the original venue of Brixton Academy which of course remains closed.
Tickets can be purchased here.