RANCID – Let The Dominoes Fall (2009)

Rancid - Let The Dominoes Fall It took Rancid six years and a massive, borderline terminal hiatus in order to bring us Let The Dominoes Fall, an album that I expected a lot more from considering it took the band ages to get to the point where they were able and willing to make it. Their previous album, Indestructible, was a bit of a departure for the band, in that their sound was broadened and more approachable (the results were often wonderful; Red Hot Moon remains one of my favorite ever songs by the band). This change-up, of course, naturally drew the ire of the punk community, but the simple fact is that sometimes, you’ve got to switch things up a bit, and the album retained the band’s fierce energy (a trait that is itself a trans-genre one) – and that is the most important thing.

That critical energy is only marginally present on Let The Dominoes Fall; too often, the music here feels phoned-in and half-hearted, both of which are phrases that you don’t want to see describing an album that could’ve (presumably) taken six years to make; this is the kind of album that isn’t bad, per se, but it is the kind that fails to leave a lasting impression. For people like myself, that’s arguably worse. Bad albums I at least remember, even if I’d prefer not to – in a way, they make the good albums all the better by comparison. But forgettable albums do nothing save for disappear from my memory forever, slowly but unstoppably.

It’s kind of hard not to compare Let The Dominoes Fall to 21st Century Breakdown . While that album lacked the power of Green Day’s earlier work, at least the band were reaching for (and occasionally grasping) something. Let The Dominoes Fall doesn’t do much more than exist. a pity, too. I hate to forget things. Makes me feel old.

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