Album Review: Rancid – Trouble Maker (Hellcat/Epitaph)


Punk rock band, Rancid are back with their new album, Trouble Maker out now via Hellcat & Epitaph.

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Trouble Maker is all about reminding the world that Rancid’s punk edge is far from gone. 17 songs long but only coming in at about 30 mins, this is an album all about sticking short, sharp sticks in your eye. Even if it does end up feeling a little too safe.

Trouble Maker is a bit of a puzzle, it retains much of what make Rancid such a compelling punk act but the leaning to more traditional rock & ska lacks something. It’s not that Trouble Maker is a bad album, it’s not, it’s just one that leaves you unsure of just how you feel about it.

What Rancid do though, they do well. Tim Armstrong has one of the most recognisable voices in rock & he excels here. The short punchy nature of the songs keeps things ticking along nicely especially as it takes a few songs for the record to really get going.

It’s Telegraph Avenue that really gets the attention first, being one of the longest tracks on the album, over 3 minutes. The soft beat allows Armstrong’s unique vocal style to shine but it’s the bass heavy melody outside the lazy ‘nah-nah-nah-nah’ chorus that really stands out.

The catchy rhythm continues into An Intimate Close Up of a Street Punk Trouble Maker before the ska bounce returns for Where I’m Going. The former has a nice snarl about it while the latter offers little beyond a repetitive beat that bores even when the song is only 2 minutes long.

One of the things that you can’t knock Rancid for here is the imagination used. No two songs sound the same. Farewell Lola Blue has a nice bite to it, Bover Rock and Roll’s bassy blues riff is something different while Make it Out Alive is a punchy crowd pleaser.

Everything is so short & sweet. That makes most songs really easy to digest, it doesn’t always work in Rancid’s favour. Some songs; Molly Make Up Your Mind, All American Neighbourhood & Cold Cold Blood just seen a bit pointless & are instantly forgettable.

Before you even know it, the album is coming to close (the deluxe edition comes with an extra two songs). Catchy riffs & chorus are in abundance at the latter parts of the album. Beauty of the Pool Hall, I Kept a Promise & This is Not the End keep the interest up & the punk rock consistent.

There is no denying the quality in depth throughout Trouble Maker, even the not so good tracks are very listenable. Rancid have thrown out a more modern sounding punk rock album & while it lacks a killer edge it’s still a damn fine album.

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Rancid – Trouble Maker Full Track Listing:

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 Neighbourhood
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

Deluxe Edition Extra Tracks:

18. We Arrived Right
19. Go On Rise Up

Trouble Maker is out now, check out through Apple Music below.

Rancid - Trouble Maker (Hellcat/Epitaph)
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