Rancid - Indestructible (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Indestructible (2003)


Nothing like a big fat controversy to prove you're following the punk scene.

Circumstances surrounding this release aside, Indestructible finds Rancid sticking to formula, which considering the diversity of everything they recorded in the past 6 years is rather surprising. In many ways this record sounds like a b-sides compilation.

More than half the songs on Indestructible mirror the feel and musical themes of past Rancid albums. The ska rhythms of "Red Hot Moon" and the riotous sing-along "Spirit Of 87" could have been leftovers from the Life Won't Wait sessions. The speedy "Out Of Control" and gangster tribute "David Courtney" similarly would have fit in on Rancid 2000. "Born Frustrated" or "Back Up Against The Wall" are easily comparable to the melodic tunes on …And Out Come The Wolves. Thankfully the range those three albums spanned allows the band to tread back across their history without bogging down the album in too many similar sounding tunes.

While not breaking a ton of new ground, Rancid does refine their song writing in several ways. While "Fall Back Down" and "Start Now" are unabashedly poppy, Armstrong's dancehall influenced chorus' and smart arrangements easily propel the songs above the radio fodder they'll compete against. The surf guitar and toasting on "Memphis" are also a new turn for the band. "Stand Your Ground" is perhaps the albums most interesting track, its' tribal percussion mirrors the African-themes of Joe Strummer's material with the Mescaleros.

Rancid went through a rough year prior to this release, so it's understandable that they may have gravitated towards a safer record to counter some of the chaos in their personal lives. While I miss the amped up, scappy energy from their 2000 offering, this will likely be a "feel good" album for anyone who grew up with Lets Go! in constant rotation. To Rancid's credit, the formula they're following is a pretty solid one. Tim Armstrong is essentially a traditionalist at heart: everything he's written for Rancid has been steeped in classic punk influences, from The Clash through the Specials to Black Flag and everything in between. Rancid exists on a very base level as a group of friends deeply in love with punk rock. Thankfully for us, they pay tribute to it rather well.