Good Riddance frontman’s second solo release takes us into acoustic indie/folk-punk territory – but is it any good?
There are so many layers to Russ Rankin. He’s the singer in successful punk group Good Riddance, a member of the band Only Crime (with Bill Stevenson of Black Flag and Descendents fame), a drug-free vegan and animal rights activist, writer and columnist, holds a day job at an Apple store and is also an ice-hockey talent scout. If that’s not enough, he has found time to write, record and release his second solo album, ‘Come Together, Fall Apart’, a collection of 11 acoustic tracks delivered with an infectious gritty vocal melody over resolute chord progressions.
It’s coming on ten years since his 2012 debut ‘Farewell Catalonia’, and Russ Rankin shows that this new solo offering is not only a chance to display a different musical side but also exhibits his growth as a musician and song-writer.
‘Come Together, Fall Apart’ delves into social and political topics, as well as the melancholy foundations of personal love and loss. With the deftness of experience and unflinching honesty, his songs seek to understand and embrace the inner turmoil of the human condition – with a fervent desire to champion the best in us.
The first single from the album is ‘Babel‘, based on the story of the Tower of Babel. It speaks to the time when humanity had one common tongue, which then splintered into a hundred different languages due to bitterness and mistrust. It is a story about unity and division and the lessons we can learn, much like the album’s very title.
Songs like ‘Statutes of Kilkenny‘ explore an Irish historical period of conflict, resistance and social change, which lyrically aligns well on an album with this kind of folk-punk flavour. Musically there is the addition of a flute or panpipe, which adds a haunting ambience to the piece.
An obvious political theme appears on the track ‘Abolish The Senate‘, which has the kind of vocal melody that is so catchy it could make blink-182 jealous. Rankin sings, “Let’s keep the house of representatives and turn the senate into real estate.”
Tracks like ‘Considering The End‘ and ‘Worse Than It Seems‘ is Rankin reaching out with his hand to anyone who is struggling and feeling dejected, giving hope to the hopeless. The kind of songs that could change someone’s life.
‘Come Together, Fall Apart’ is a brilliant solo effort byGood Riddance’s Russ Rankin. Seriously, this album needs to be on your turntable 24/7. Rankin has definitely scored a winning goal!
Punktuation score – 5/5 stars
In March 2022, Russ Rankin will go on his release tour in Europe, hitting Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
‘Come Together, Fall Apart’ is out now on SBÄM records.
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