There is a lot that one can say about the new Rancid album. But do not get your hopes up punk rockers, not a damn thing about it is good. Self indulgent, poppy, and at times flat out unlistenable- Let the Dominos Fall just may go down as Rancid's worst record (yes, it is even worse that 2000 self titled piece of crap Rancid).
An ill fated combination of punk/pop nonsense, uninspired ska, and a few tracks that, to be quite honest, words really do not do justice in describing them, Let the Dominos Fall is not the Rancid I grew up with. Of course, with 19 tracks on the album, not all of them are a complete abortion. "Last one to Die" (whose video can be found at the bottom of this review) and "New Orleans" are among the notable mentions from the Bay Area band's latest offering, as are a few of the other of the album's deeper cuts. But the problem with that is the no one will ever get to hear those, having thrown the MP3 player they are listening to the album on out of the nearest window to get the rest of this trash as far away from them as fast as humanly possible.
Now I will admit I might be a teeny tiny bit overly dramatic. Is this the worst record in the world, really? No, of course it is not... Spencer and Heidi have both recorded music before and will in no doubt record again. And, of course, with a few copies of Bruce Willis' The Return of Bruno floating around out there, the buffer to "Worst Album Ever Made" is deep and wide. But these records were produced by celebrities wanting to indulge in their rock and roll fantasies... not by legends in the punk rock game.
Is this the worst album that Rancid has ever done? It just might be... but that means falling short of a very high mark set by one of punk rock's most legendary and influential bands. I lash because I am hurt. And I am hurt because I expected more from them. But alas, Tim and Lars have shown themselves to be mortal before and have done so again. Truthfully, as writing this review, I have been listening to the record and to be honest, while I still know that the record is not good, I cannot help but find myself tapping my toes to those poppy hooks. The record grows on you after a while, washing away the disappointment of mediocrity with the afterglow of knowing that at least your favorite band in the whole wide world is still going after all these years. In the end, this isn't ... and Out Comes the Wolves or Life Won't Wait, but no record is. If you are new to Rancid, make sure you buy one (or both) of those records while you are at it so you can understand why I would be so very upset. And if you are an old school Rancid fan (such as myself), just be happy to know that a new album (no matter how bad) means that there will also be a new Rancid tour coming soon to a venue near you. And that, my friends, is something we can all get behind.
See ya in the pits...
RANCID: "Last One To Die" video