Rancid Stick To Their Punk Roots While Still Sounding Fresh On Tomorrow Never Comes

In 1995, Berkeley, California band Rancid rose to modest mainstream success with the single “Ruby Soho,” on the record …And Out Come the Wolves, bringing punk to the mainstream alongside their radio-friendly peers Green Day, who had released their major label debut Dookie the year before. While Green Day was able to bring punk rock into the mainstream and stay there for quite some time, Rancid was never quite able to make the record that would keep them at the forefront of the public eye. While Green Day moved on from their scrappy punk days to eventually creating more grandiose LP’s starting with 2004’s American Idiot, Rancid have continuously stuck to their roots, releasing punk rock tunes that stand the test of time, and while the youngest member drummer Branden Steineckert is in his 40s, the rest of the group, Tim Armstrong (guitar,) Lars Frederiksen (guitar,) and Matt Freeman (bass,) are all in their 50’s, showing longtime fans and newcomers that they can still play punk rock without sounding too old.

On Tomorrow Never Comes, the group’s 10th album, the LP features 16 tracks that still show the band performing at a breakneck speed, with elements that still make them stand out including Tim Armstrong’s signature nasally vocals and Matt Freeman’s speedy licks that put most bassists to shame. Opening with the title track, the quartet wasted no time getting started, with an entirely unique energy. As Branden Steineckert leads the group through the track, we see what he means when he has talked in interviews about playing for the song, making his drum parts as musical as possible. With a precision that only punk rock can have, Rancid is still infectious all of these decades later and as the band blasts through two minutes and 25 seconds, one of the Bay Area’s finest punk acts is showing no signs of slowing down.

It’s A Road to Righteousness,” features the group’s trademark vocals by both Lars Fredericksen and Tim Armstrong, alongside Matt Freeman making sure he treats fans to a bassline that will make anyone new aware of his talent. The whole band shines here and as we hear a riff that will get lodged in our heads, “It’s A Road…” will become a fan favorite. Towards the end of the record, we hear “Eddie the Butcher,” with a bassline that is reminiscent of “Maxwell Murder,” on …And Out Come the Wolves. With “Maxwell Murder” being known as one of the best basslines in the band’s history, “Eddie the Butcher,” will be close behind. “When The Smoke Clears,” closes out Tomorrow Never Comes, and while it will not go down as one of the band’s better tracks, for fans who have been waiting six years for a new Rancid LP, it is a great closer to the group’s latest go around.

Watch the music video for “Tomorrow Never Comes” below.

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