The sound of traditional punk rock

Album nine from Rancid brings with it a feeling of maturity with some great story telling.

Starting with a faster hardcore style ‘Track Fast’ setting the mood early; Rancid are here to play some solid punk rock and have a great time. Following up swiftly come the early release tracks, the positive ‘Ghost of a Chance’ and ‘Telegraph Ave’, one of the best stories that Tim Armstrong has  told about someone he obviously looked up to in his youth in the Bay Area.

Rancid never veers far away from what they are known for, great punk rock with a bit of ska thrown in for good measure here and there, keeping the attempts at anything too musically different few and far between with the most notable distinction being ‘Bovver Rock And Roll’, with its almost 70’s glam rock undertones and only Tim’s raspy faux British vocals reminding you that this is a Rancid track. The quality of songwriting never dips and the only track that is near forgettable is ‘Cold Cold Blood’ but the music keeps it alive. Troublemake proper finishes on the positive ‘This is Not the End’ but better rounded out by the bonus track ‘Go On Rise Up’, sounding like Lars Frederiksen’s Oi! band The Old Firm Casuals with Tim Armstrong singing.

Troublemaker is a really good punk rock record, just the way the genre was originally conceived: short, fast and loud. Only three tracks break the three minute mark on an album that has nineteen in total; the last two tracks on CD and digital are marked as bonus tracks and come as a bonus 7” for the vinyl edition.

As a fan of the band, this album is almost what you would expect these days, some great stories fed with positivity, a furrowed brow and a snarled expression. This is the sound of traditional punk rock and just like the previous album Honor is All We Know, the band sound like they are having more fun with their music than ever.  If you have only been a casual fan of Rancid, this might be the album to convince you to dig a little deeper.

1. Track Fast
2. Ghost of a Chance
3. Telegraph Avenue
4. An Intimate Close Up of a Street Punk Trouble Maker
5. Where I’m Going
6. Buddy
7. Farewell Lola Blue
8. All American Neighborhood
9. Bovver Rock and Roll
10. Make it Out Alive
11. Molly Make Up Your Mind
12. I Got Them Blues Again
13. Beauty of the Pool Hall
14. Say Goodbye to Our Heroes
15. I Kept a Promise
16. Cold Cold Blood
17. This is Not the End
18. We Arrived Right on Time (Bonus)
19. Go On Rise Up (Bonus)