Although his former other half has been making more noise this year with The Distillers' forbidden beat punk, Tim Armstrong and Rancid remain the Fugazi of the neo-punk age, an irreproachable pillar of ethics and idealistic resolve. They don't do interviews, despite the fact that lengthy photo spreads of the aging tattoo boys would surely move more units. They jumped to a major label this year and survived the usual myopic backlash of protective fans. Hell, even his no-brainer punk-funk-hip-hop-metal side project The Transplants came out smelling like prize-winning roses-even though the lead single was as lunkhead party-hardy as they come. But when you're throwing politics and an ode to Lars Frederiksen's deceased brother against a ska-tinged punk band of the highest caliber, as they did on this year's self-titled release, it's hard to go wrong. Even if they do go wrong, Rancid would probably do it twice and make a right. Rancid performs at SOMA, 8 p.m. on Dec. 15. $16.50. 619-220-8497.