Like every other Rancid record, the East Bay quartet’s glorious new 19-song masterpiece “Indestructible” roars out of the gate on the muscular shoulders of bassist Matt Freeman’s otherworldly runs. In the final verse of the sub-2-minute opening title track Rancid founder Tim Armstrong’s asserts, “Keep on listening to the great Joe Strummer, ‘cuz through music we can live forever.”
The proclamation is twofold. It acknowledges with true punk sneer the too-easy but always-made Clash comparisons leveled at the band over its 10-year career: Fuck you, only a fool wouldn’t aspire to the musical heights reached by Strummer, Jones, et al.
The invocation of the late Clash leader also points out that Rancid itself is again ready to inherit the mantle of The Only Band That Matters.