Rancid – ‘Trouble Maker’

By William Scott

Legacy is a poisoned chalice. To some you’ll always be their favourite band, no matter how many records you’ve put out. But to others you will “never be as good as the first 3 track demo that was given out on CD-Rs during your shows in the basement of a pub” or similar. Rancid’s legacy stretches back to the very early ’90s, playing those dive bars in Berkley, California. Now 26 years later we get to hear their ninth studio effort. So the big question is, is it all getting a little stale after all this time? Or is there still life in the trailblazing punks yet?

‘Trouble Maker’ is a good pin in the corkboard for where the band are right now. While the sound may not deviate too far from the old formula there is a definitive stride that Rancid carry which doesn’t give you the chance to do any less than smile. The tales of growing up in Berkley, chasing the ‘Beauty In The Pool Hall” and running riot across the world age really well.

‘Ghost Of A Chance’, the lead single from the record, summarises the tone of the album. It’s made for bouncing halls of sweaty punks, uncompromising and true to what the band is. ‘Say Goodbye To Our Heroes’ is more of the same, an ode to the legends that have sadly departed. A catchy chorus, a raucous¬†singalong and a strong guitar lead allow this song to be a standout.

Yes, at times the album can sound a little dated and yes, there’s nothing cutting edge and new. But what do you expect when you step foot into your local record store and pick up that deep red album cover and scenic backdrop? Did you want something groundbreaking? No. Did you want some pogo-jumping singalongs to belt out at the top of your lungs the next time you see them?¬†Yes.

By no means is this record a stain on Rancid’s history but don’t expect anything that is going to change the course of music. The band have done what they needed to do and nothing more; they’ve created something to soundtrack running in a big circle as fast as possible. ‘Trouble Maker’ has that in spades.

WILLIAM SCOTT

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