The froth levels were ridiculously high when the recent news dropped that Mudvayne and Coal …
Responsible for hurling punk into the mainstream while retaining its underground appeal and remaining a staple in global punk diets for over three decades, it’s safe to say any new album from California punks Rancid will always be extremely anticipated.
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Now armed with their tenth studio album, Tomorrow Never Comes, Rancid’s latest sonic outing may not inherently reinvent any metaphorical wheels, but it does provide a red meat addition to one of the genre’s all-time greats – and one that will reward revisiting.
With 16 tracks lying in wait from a band who love a lengthy tracklist at the best of times (and most songs barely clocking in beyond two minutes), Tomorrow Never Comes kicks off with hardcore swagger via its title track; a truly solid start from the Berkeley quartet that durably sets the scene for the energetic good times to come. From the murky distortion and group vocals running rampant on Mud, Blood & Gold to the Celtic-hued Devil In Disguise, the ongoing glue of Rancid’s razor-sharp rhythm powerhouses, Matt Freeman and Branden Steineckert, welded with the slawart axe skills of Lars Frederiksen and Tim Armstrong’s incomparable drawl elevates Tomorrow Never Comes continually from simply going through the well-tread motions. Instead, it’s impossible not to be gleefully dragged along by boisterous rollicks (New American), combustive anthems delivered at break-neck speed (Don’t Make Me Do It), vigorous reveries about carefree immortality (Live Forever) and criminally catchy fare (One Way Ticket), the latter of which only allows you to catch your breath for seven uninterrupted seconds immediately following Armstrong declaring: “If I stay here, I’m gonna die”.
A must-listen for longtime fans, Tomorrow Never Comes will also bring cathartic joy for anyone who likes their music loud and soaked with clobbering charm.
Instrumentally, the band sound as tight and as potent as ever, if not more so than their more recent material, effortlessly ripping through the pummeling stomp of Hellbound Train, the delightfully kooky chaos of Eddie the Butcher and the vivacious closing track When The Smoke Clears. And with the band’s trademark gang vocals on steroids proving once again as much as a drawcard as the searing musicality across the board, the true standout throughout Tomorrow Never Comes is also ultimately the measured hand with which Rancid choose to play their strongest cards. In blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments amongst the beautiful mayhem, you’ll find wailing guitar solos, deliciously filthy basslines with unexpected turns and extremely resonant and timeless lyricism. While all of the aforementioned elements are trademarks linked to the East Bay legends, the rapid energy and short run times surrounding the sharp execution and carefully-crafted thematics staggeringly kicks the door wide open for a relisten; especially for longtime fans who have grown with the band into their more developed state in 2023.
A must-listen for longtime fans, Tomorrow Never Comes will also bring cathartic joy for anyone who likes their music loud and soaked with clobbering charm. While unmistakably a full-blown Rancid album, and definitely one of the group’s standouts from recent years, Tomorrow Never Comes has all the leather-clad, tattoo-covered sneer you could want delivered with a warm and brazen smile. It’s 2023, and punk’s definitely not dead.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Tomorrow Never Comes, Devil In Disguise, Don’t Make Me Do It
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