My Republic may be Good Riddance's seventh proper album to date, but instead of sounding tired and played out, it finds the band as fierce and commanding as it was at number one. With Sean Sellers back behind the drums after a seven-year absence, Good Riddance return to one of their oldest lineups -- rounded out by Russ Rankin, Chuck Platt, and Luke Pabich -- and their furious SoCal hardcore continues to be tempered by a greater sense of melody. For every breakneck, hard-hitting track like "Out of Mind," "Torches and Tragedies," and the Pennywise-esque "Up to You," there's the NOFX charm of "Shame," the SoCal skatepunk chorus of "Darkest Days," or the sweet-edged love of "Boise." With George W. Bush still contentedly residing in the White House, lead ranter Rankin unsurprisingly wastes little time in spouting his frustrations, not only at the President's questionable leadership and decisions ("All the lies that you propagate/You've raped the charm from the Lone Star State"), but also the apathetic attitude of his fellow Americans ("Too many sterile homes without a thing to say/A generation losing innocence this way"). As personal as he is politically charged, Rankin has always possessed a certain heartfelt sincerity to his articulated disillusionment that manages to ring much closer to home than, say, the vehemently militaristic rage of a band like Anti-Flag. When he asks "So tell me why you fight for my life then you throw me away…How can I rationalize your morality as you legislate your sad opinions on me?," he assertively vocalizes the sentiments of an everyday citizen -- and not just an extreme left-wing activist. And even if a song like "Save the Children" seems a tad hard to swallow, the remainder of the album rages quick and painless -- ending with the anthemic singalong "Uniform" -- with 14 songs packed into 30 incensed minutes. With My Republic, Good Riddance remain as aggressive and relevant as ever with super-tight music that gets the body moving and urgent, impassioned words that get the mind thinking.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar