REVIEW: Rancid – “Indestructible”

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

IndestructibleRancid's latest, Indestructible, gets even more down and dirty than their last. Whether or not this is because of their releasing ...And Out Come the Wolves on Epitaph records, a much more commercial outfit, and then banging out Indestructible on the indie favorite Hellcat Records is unknown. But it wouldn't surprise me. I wouldn't be surprised if this was mastered by a couple of smelly shirtless bar bouncers drunk on Killian's getting paid ten bucks an hour. It's that garage – that dirty – that unpolished and that truthful.

Fans of truly old school punk rock, stepping as far back as Clash's London Calling era, will really dig this CD. It features nineteen tracks, much like punk CDs of old. It also features a mix of everything from thrashy core punk to more ballad style tunes complete with hurdy gurdy organ and skank-style rhythms and lyrics. You'll find ode-to-people style Irish bar tunes (David Courtney) as well, for those of you that like to kick back the Killian's while skanking to some garage punk.

Indestructible starts with the song of the same name. It tears open quickly, fast and with a fury much like the opening of Maxwell's Murder on ...And Out Come the Wolves. They're hit single from this album comes next. I shouldn't have to go into a long discussion of Fall Back Down, as it is fairly well known by now. Destined as a classic. Red Hot Moon follows, kicking out some skanky rhythms and slower rhythms so everyone in the pit can catch their breath.

Raise your black and tan high and clank them together as the mixture oozes over the rim of the steel tankards for the start of David Courtney – a tune dedicated to a Londonite who seems to have made a big impression on Tim, Lars, Matt and Brett. Dropkick Murphy fans will cream over this one. And what would a punk CD be without a bit of bitching about all the fighting going on today? Witness track 5: Start Now.

Pit demons will slam fiercely to Out of Control and the following Django. Arrested in Shanghai is a slow ballad, one of my favorites. Travis Bickle opens like metal, but then shreds into another heavy pit song, however more melodic than the previous Out of Control and Django. But it reopens the fact that this is, of course, a thrashy punk rock CD by immediately making you forget the slow languish of Arrested in Shanghai. Memphis is another favorite of mine – it seems I really dig the story-telling tunes. By the time they made it to Memphis, they were crazy.

Unless you're true to heart for it, avoid the pit for Roadblock. It's another of those heavy hitting slam songs that will send the demons winging through the circle. Double up the side crew for this one, when all the punx come out tonight. A favorite ska-ish tune for me is Back Up Against the Wall. Whether it's because of the music or the lyrics, having come off a two year long near-unemployment stint myself that put my own back against a wall, I'm not sure. But it's a good song that by the end increases in intensity to anthem proportions, then closes as quietly as it began.

Now a lot of people have gone around saying Rancid's self titled and Let's Go CDs were amazing. And that Rancid’s follow-up to these, ...And Out Come the Wolves, was a mite too polished for their spiky headed tastes. If you long for the days of Let's Go, or wish for the days back when the Clash didn't start singing about jet planes yet, then Indestructible is a definite return to their roots. And for all you maggots that say Rancid sold out to Epitaph for ...And Out Come The Wolves – I'm here to tell you that I don't believe that's true at all. But if they did, they gave it all back and came home Indestructible.

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