Single Review: Rancid – Last One To Die [Hellcat/Epitaph]
This is the first single from forthcoming album ‘Let The Dominoes Fall’, their first album since 2003’s ‘Indestructable’. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bode well for the new album.
Poor Tim Armstrong, he has always had a chip on his shoulder. Never content with his past in the formidably brilliant Operation Ivy, nor with his achievements with Rancid, he craved commercial success and things seemed be going OK for a while. His supergroup, The Transplants, broke into the mainstream before securing a place on a long-runnning Loriel advert, but it went downhill when Rancid moved to a major label. Firstly, because it seemed to be primarily motivated by a need to keep up with his ex’s band The Distillers. Secondly because the problem with majors is that they want you to please everyone, and in punk circles trying to please everyone is a sure-fire way to piss off most people. Whilst you’ll find no punk purist rhetoric here, the pursuit of success appears to have clouded Armstrong’s judgement somewhat.
Now back on indie uber-label Epitaph, the band have obviously decided to regroup and Armstrong seems keen to play down his role as the main creative force. “We approached every element of this record as a team, and the result is my favourite Rancid record to date.” What we as listeners can glean from this is that either the man is a liar, or that he really is as deluded as this sensationalist review has made him out to be. Either way it’s not good.
It is painful to say so, but this single is just dull. It sounds like everything the band have already done and done better. The lyrics are awful, “We got it right/ You got it wrong/ We’re still around/ We’re going up/ You’re going down” etc. Musically, it is unremarkable, it sounds like something they scraped off the cutting room floor from one of their earlier albums; and it probably is. We all love Rancid and we all want to believe, but there comes a point when you have to ask if the fact that they’re singing “We’re still around” is actually a good thing.
Written for 4or The Record