…Honor is All We Know is a homecoming of sorts for the band. Mirrored in their drive-along video around the Bay and the title itself, the album is more …And Out Come the Wolves and Let’s Go! than their more recent experimental albums that dabbled in everything from acoustic folk tracks to surf-rock guitar riffs to lyrical phrasing akin to (Tim Armstrong’s other band) The Transplants.
The album is more focused this time with a leaner core of 14 tracks. Their staple Chuck Berry style guitar riffs soar over signature bass lines and pounding drums that drive mostly very rocking, heavy, mid-tempo songs. The band even threw in a couple of token ska tracks.
Rancid’s evolution and maturation in songwriting is evident in this album. Their everyman anthems are very relatable to a drowning middle class and to struggling lower income folks. In fact, they are a call to action with lyrics such as “raise your fist, against the power, oppress the power that exists” in “Raise your Fist” that reveres the struggles of the working class.
Other familiar themes of the band are prominent as well. “Collision Course” is a hard-hitting single professing their undying love of music and punk rock, in particular, a la earlier anthems such as “Radio.” The title track and opening track, “Back Where I Belong” perhaps sum up best where the band is now. For Rancid, …Honor is all about getting back to basics. In a contemporary world that may feel uncertain and disillusioning at times times, Rancid celebrates the roots of what they love and respect – camaraderie, solidarity, unity. After decades of playing music, the band reflects on what they honor and cherish, and they nail it. With this album, Rancid is truly back where they belong and they are doing it with honor.