Rancid - ...Honor Is All We Know (Cover Artwork)


...Honor Is All We Know (2014)


It’s been around five years since Rancid’s last album, Let the Dominoes Fall, which is widely considered by fans to be their worst effort. In the meantime, Tim Armstrong has put out some solo work as “Tim Timebomb” (his version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is one of the most ridiculous things ever recorded), Lars Frederiksen teamed up with a couple of Fred Perry models to form The Old Firm Casuals, and Matt Freeman released an entire album with his psychobilly side project, Devil’s Brigade.

These side projects proved, if nothing else, that the sum is greater than the parts, so “Back Where I Belong” is a fitting first track to …Honor Is All We Know. The first five Rancid albums each have a distinct style and sound, from the street punk of their self-titled album to the experimental reggae-tinged Life Won’t Wait . The subsequent two albums have been a hodge-podge of punk with ska, rockabilly and Oi influences, and …Honor Is All We Know continues in this vein, with every other song seemingly displaying a different musical inspiration.

Although Rancid is influential in their own right, they wear their own influences on their sleeve. “In The Streets” shows Rancid’s Clash influence more so than any other song in their catalogue and “Already Dead” sounds like Rancid covering a lost Johnny Cash song. Meanwhile, “Malfunction” has an almost Motown sound, and it’s one of the most interesting tracks on the album.

There are still plenty of conventional Rancid tracks. The title track is the standard Rancid mid-tempo punk song, while “Evil’s My Friend” is reminiscent of older Rancid ska tracks like “Brixton” or “I Wanna Riot”.

At a mere 14 songs, this is certainly the shortest Rancid album to date. The early opinions of PunkNews readers seem to be lukewarm. Several posters have commented that there seems to be a lot of filler even though it’s a short record. Still, it’s nice to hear the guys in Rancid doing what they do best, even if it’s not quite at the same level as their classic work. It’s also good to hear Tim’s voice not sound like a caricature of himself. All in all, fans should savor …Honor Is All We Know . It could be another long wait for a follow-up.