Let The Dominoes Fall

Rating: 3.5

Label: Hellcat

It has been six long years since Rancid’s last album, and unlike the band’s sound, the world has changed drastically. The United States continues to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf coast in 2005 and the economy has completely tanked. Rancid’s Let The Dominoes Fall addresses each of these topics and more in what is actually a refreshingly patriotic album.

“Civilian Ways” and “Disconnected” both deal with the war in Iraq and the toll it continues to take on both the American population and the soldiers, as well as the difficulties of assimilating back into civilian life, while “The Bravest Kids” is a testament to those who are still in the military. There are no politics involved in these songs; they exist only to show support to those who are defending their country. “New Orleans” doesn’t blame former President Bush for the disaster of Hurricane Katrina or blast him for the problems caused by the government in the aftermath. It instead echoes themes of hope and joy in the midst of destruction: “Well she’s got pride like a million lions/ She’s got scars on her velvet face/ She’s got a smile like a newborn child/ She’s gotta walk a stoic grace.”

“Last One To Die” is probably one of the best songs Rancid has ever produced. The album’s first single, it does a great job of incorporating everything that the band has gone through and been influenced by over the course of their career. Tim Armstrong’s gruff vocals tell an oral history of the band, where they have come from and what should be expected of them in the future: “Through the storms and the gigs/ And the good and the bad/ There ain’t no doubt/ We knew from the very first show/ What it was all about.”

Let The Dominoes Fall isn’t without its faults, however. At 19 tracks, it’s occasionally over-long, with tracks like “Lulu” and “LA River” feeling more like hiccups in an otherwise solid album. Let The Dominoes Fall is a well-rounded record; though it’s likely not the high water mark of Rancid’s career, it will definitely hold the interest of anybody who has enjoyed the band for the past couple decades.

by Nicholas Ryan

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