Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Honor is all we know

When I get stressed, I dive deep into music. Usually, music with a little grit to it, something to smooth down my rough edges. Some of my greatest musical loves are a direct result of this kind of connection. From Pink Floyd to Metallica, I have found soothing connection in the words and melodies that I've encountered when life seems a bit unbearable.

This is how I came to dig deep into Rancid.

It's important to note: I don't just get attached to something I like—I'm a clutcher. I find something I like, I hold on tight and research it and dig into it and find out all I can find out.

A few years back when my husband was out of the country and I just needed a break. It can be hard to manage that kind of distance, especially with kids and your whole life, and I turned to music for comfort. I picked songs I really liked and just researched those bands. I had a few Rancid songs but didn't know much about them, so that was one of the bands I drilled down on, and holy shit.

I fell in love.

It has a little bit to do with the fact that this was around the time "Let The Dominoes Fall" came out and those lyrics resonated with me so hard. Smart songs, good use of swears, melodic and gritty, this was music that I could get on board with. This soothed me, smoothed those rough—raw—edges enough to get me by.

I kept going and found more and more. I had friends (awesome and music-loving types) who recommended other artists, other songs, other things I might like. I had tripped into my own personal little Pandora radio station where I was given a guided tour through some Nor-Cal punk at an age where I should be thinking about my midlife crisis, I was connecting with this thing inside of me that needed this music. I found a safe place in this music. And the more Rancid I got into, the more I came to love it because Tim Armstrong writes some really smart, sometimes sarcastic and funny, lyrics.

Like I said? I am a clutcher. Get on board.

So now, now that my life is five years further along, when everything is so very different but some things will always be the same, Rancid puts out another one. I've been giddily anticipating this release since I first read the posts a month or so back, and I am so not disappointed.

The pre-release teaser released by the band (from YouTube)

This is smart music. It's punk in the best sense of the word in that you can see the external influences on Rancid and independent music in general, the bluegrass and the ska. It's brilliant. I put it to both the roadtrip test (wherein I listen to the whole thing instead of surfing my music library) and the going out running test (wherein I forego my standard diverse playlist and listen only to this) and it passed with flying colors (though, it should be mentioned, not in the school pick up line. Too many clearly enunciated swear words).

I give "Honor is All We Know" five Tall Cans in the Air out of five.

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