Rancid - Trouble Maker album review

The long-serving Cali punks take it back to the old school

Cover art for Rancid - Trouble Maker album

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For the past 20 years, Rancid have faced the same criticism with each album: “But it’s not …And Out Come The Wolves.” That album shaped what Rancid would become, and instilled a sound of American angst in a generation of punks from the US and beyond. Rancid’s sound evolved over decades, but now, on their ninth record, the veterans have harnessed the past with 17 songs of ska-punk fury.

Clocking in at 37 minutes, it gallops along with no time-outs as Tim Armstrong’s gravelly voice barks out choruses so infectious you’ll still be singing along when 10 pints deep, which is Rancid’s raison d’etre. They’re the band we stand arm in arm with, swaying dangerously, screaming at the moon with our brothers and sisters until morning comes.

Unsurprisingly, gang vocals dominate proceedings, and there’s an inherent swagger throughout, conjuring everything from the Bouncing Souls to The Clash. And while their lyrics aren’t as pointed as Rise Against’s latest, turned up loud it’s impossible not to surrender yourself to the positive power of punk.

From the ‘SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“bdf07e9b-14ee-41d1-b513-5fadeeb54afd” id=“d0ac743e-fa42-44f6-90a2-ee336bacd062”>na-na-SOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“bdf07e9b-14ee-41d1-b513-5fadeeb54afd” id=“8e61057a-9a8f-4053-b896-b774935c59b8”>na’s of Telegraph Avenue to the fist-in-the-air anthem Make It Out Alive and the arena-sized chorus of Farewell Lola Blue, this album is a solid reminder of what Rancid are capable of.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.