Peace In Our TimeFat Wreck Chords
By Cole Faulkner
After taking a nine year break between full lengths, Californian melodic punk rock act Good Riddance returns from retirement for their latest full length. The fourteen song, twenty-seven minute album marks the celebration of a band that just can’t stay dead. As a preliminary listen of Peace In Our Time makes clear, this is no rushed, nostalgic cash in: Good Riddance still has plenty left to give.
Hearing frontman Russ Rankin back in his element is every bit as rewarding as fans would expect. Sure, in his time off he’s done the solo thing and flirted with unconventional chords in Only Crime, but Rankin’s synergy with his bandmates of approaching thirty years makes for a chemistry like no other.
Peace In Our Time boasts plenty of ear grabbing, first pumping melodies that scream 90’s punk rock. The usual comparisons to No Use For A Name, Bad Religion, The Descendents and even Pennywise fully apply as Good Riddance survey the now aging scene that they once had a hand in creating. Time has done nothing to dull the quartet’s coarse edge as opener “Disputatio” rips open with buzzing riffs and burgeoning bass that leads the call for political upheaval. Soaring vocal harmonies and punchy, sky high guitar solos leading the way as “Contrition” juxtapose such moments against the abrasive, pseudo spoken word delivery of Descendents-esque follow-up “Take It To Heart.” “Half Measures” delves forcefully into Generator-era Bad Religion while “Grace And Virtue” channels more of a tuneful The Empire Strikes First vibe. On the other end of the spectrum, “Dry Season” flirts briefly with throat ruining hardcore, infusing an ongoing barrage of jarring riffs and Sean Sellers’ quick snapping drum blasts. For the shortest studio album of their career, Good Riddance makes the most of their fleeting runtime, presenting Peace In Our Time as a varied exemplar that makes good on their decorated career.
As should be clear, Good Riddance’s return to the studio is a resounding success. Infectious melodies, sweeping harmonies and that edgy, unapologetic attitude makes Peace In Our Time a best case scenario. Good Riddance clearly hasn’t let time fade their memory or dampen their talents, and that’s all fans really need to know.