Reviews Rancid Honor Is All We Know

Rancid

Honor Is All We Know

For years I was the biggest Rancid fan. The first record I didn’t buy on its release date was B-Sides & C-Sides, and that’s because I already had the songs. I was an unapologetic completest. As the post-2000 records have been coming, I became an apologetic completest. I bought the double album version of Let the Dominoes Fall and spun it a fair amount that first month…but rarely since.

When October 2014 came with promise of the new Honor Is All We Know, I didn’t bother to get it right away. I’d heard a version of the song via Tim’s one-a-day project and, well, it’s another new Rancid song with “we” in the title. That right there sums up where things have gone wrong. Where, for years, the band’s strength was in their storytelling lyricism, mixing autobiographical with fictional tales of urban blight, recent records have revolved more heavily along the “we’re still here” theme. The band that was classified as street punk with an asterisk, has now become that genre to a fault.

While the songs on Honor Is All We Know are often catchy—so catchy you can sing along on first listen—they aren’t really about anything at all. “Power Inside,” “The Streets,” and “Grave Digger” are straight-up shout-along up the punx fare that gets cornball in its repetition. There are a few breakthrough moments, such as the title track, which begins with an impressive dual guitar lead is the most musically interesting song on the record, despite the tired self-referential lyrics, and the nice ska beat behind “Evil’s My Friend” is another song to get the party started—again, until the refrain hits. Think “Brixton” minus the insight. There are some nice moments in “Collision Course” as well, with a more driven sound and some urgency from Lars Frederiksen’s vocals. However, those breakthrough moments over the 14-song record are a glimpse through the clouds, and the lyrics in all of them bring it down.

“Evil Is My Friend”? ‘Nuff said. “Grave Digger” only has barely over 7 words in 2:20 (Grave digger/digging all the way down). The band that wrote “Radio,” “Detroit,” “Roots Radicals,” “Time Bomb,” and so many more interesting character pieces, are instead now chanting “In the streets you’re never alone,” (“In the Streets”) and it’s hard to take it seriously.

Oddly, those early records were often written in months and recorded in days, and they feel like more complete pieces. This record took 5 years to come out, including a 1 year delay, but many of the lyrics feel like they were penned in studio.

Like the stencil mailer that came some two decades ago promoting ...And Out Come the Wolves, there is a defined brand and shape here, but the inside is hollow and needs more color.

5.1 / 10Loren
Advertisement
Radio K 2
Leave a comment

Epitaph

2014

5.1 / 10

5.1 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
Radio K 2
More by Rancid

Rancid

Trouble Maker

7.5 / 10 Rancid - Trouble Maker album cover

It’s strange to me to realize that Rancid just released their ninth album. It’s a mark of age, not to mention that they haven’t been the most productive band on ...

Rancid

Let the Dominoes Fall

7.2 / 10 Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall album cover
Multiple Authors

I could write a thousand words on Rancid here if I wanted. I spent the better part of the 90's defending them amongst the punx, though my enthusiasm for the ...

Rancid

Let the Dominoes Fall

5.9 / 10 Rancid - Let the Dominoes Fall album cover
Multiple Authors

Rancid changed my life when I was twelve years old. Yes, Nirvana and Green Day had me going in the right direction, but Rancid absolutely changed me with their shocking ...

Related news

MP3s Armstrongs (w/ Rancid and Green Day)

Posted July 14, 2017, 10:20 p.m.

A new single has been released by Armstrongs, a group comprised of non-relatives Tim (Operation Ivy/Rancid/Transplants), Billie Joe (Green Day), Joey (SWMRS), and Rey Armstrong. "If There Was ...

Records New Rancid record, new video for Ghost of a Chance

Posted May 6, 2017, 11:04 a.m.

Rancid has debuted the new song "Ghost of a Chance," posted after the jump. The new song is one of 19 to appear on their upocming album, Trouble Maker, set ...

Tours Rancid, Dropkick Murphys tour

Posted March 19, 2017, 9:34 a.m.

Rancid and the Dropkick Murphys have schedule a run of co-headlining dates for this summer, being joined on selecte dates by Jake Burns (Stiff Little Fingers), The Bounsing Souls, The ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.