“…Honor Is All We Know.”
It’s all too easy to become complacent about a band that’s been making music for the past twenty plus years, except when that band is Rancid. Some five years after Let The Dominoes Fall news of Rancid in the studio didn’t seem to create the buzz it warranted at the beginning of last year. Thanks to the ability to stream the album in it’s entirety (and a decent web download) I’ve listened to the album four times in the past twenty-four hours. “…Honor Is All We Know.” starts and ends in typical Rancid fashion with Back Where I Belong and Gravedigger. In between are songs of comradery, despair, rebellion, revolution and plenty of OI OI OI! The subject matter is as familiar as it was in the early nineties, and just as relevant. Society’s failure to change in that time is upsetting, but makes for great material that resonates with the listener. My first impression was it was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of its overall feel, and I mean that as a compliment to one of the most consistent bands, of any genre, still making music after seven albums.
Much like their previous albums, this has something for everyone, not just Hooligans and punk purists. The sound is unreservedly Rancid with a blend of punk, rock, ska and hardcore. Matt and Tim’s voices are affably raspier. The songs are catchy, melodic, driven and feel good despite the abject subject matter of some. It’s worth mentioning the avid following the band have outside of the USA, especially in Japan where the album was released yesterday, ahead of the global release date of October 27th. The band has strong merchandise available online for their fans including music bundles, clothing and accessories. Also noteworthy are their collaborations with Bounty x Hunter on a number of t-shirts and collectable toys. From indie to major label, from alleyway to avenue, the title track from this album amply sums up the band’s convictions:
Don’t change a goddamn thing, hold your head up high. When the hard times come, we have the strength to defy.
Believe in yourself, let the arrow leave the bow. Honor is among us, honor is all we know.