Russ Rankin

Come Together Fall Apart

Written by: PP on 25/05/2022 17:34:09

Countless vocalists within punk rock eventually release some solo material. Most of it is underwhelming, all too frequently sounding merely like a stripped-down, acoustic version of their main band. Not so with Russ Rankin of Good Riddance fame. His solo work has been enjoyable thus far, and "Come Together Fall Apart" is no exception. A key reason why is because he takes a step away from his melodic hardcore laced punk rock expression towards a more classical singer-songwriter approach, but avoids the pitfall of dropping the electric guitars altogether.

Now if you've heard Good Riddance material before, you'll know that Rankin's pipes are some of the most recognizable in the scene. It's a coarse, intense yell that permeates their melodic punk rock riffage with fierce, hardcore-influenced urgency. Here, he takes a step back and instead opts for a more intimate style. It sounds more gravelly - a bit like Joey Cape meets Chuck Ragan or something - and allows his charisma to ooze through the songs overall.

These vary between acoustic guitar jams and electrified cuts like "Abolish The Senate", which echoes older Against Me! material. The anthemic "Next Best Thing" is like an alternative rock song, and "You Woke Up In My Neighborhood" (feat Marcia Reynolds) sounds like a country track with its folksy instrumentation. On the other hand, "All Of Our Lives" is a classic political punk anthem, and "Statutes Of Kilkenny" brings to mind Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls.

The lyrical universe is clever and engaging, but that has always been a big part of Good Riddance in general. Here, the main draw is Rankin's scratchy, raw roars that feel much more dominant in the soundscape with a less fiery instrumental landscape.

Overall, "Come Together Fall Apart" is one of the better punk vocalists turned singer-songwriter efforts. Is it as solid as a Good Riddance record has been as of late? Not quite, but still a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Download: Statutes Of Kilkenny, All Of Our Lives, Next Best Thing
For the fans of: Joey Cape, Frank Turner, Laura Jane Grace, Against Me!
Listen: Facebook

Release date 28.01.2022
SBÄM Records

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