Some band history...
A mix of (get this) punk rock, reggae, DJ loops and hardcore attitude, Los Angeles' Transplants celebrate the release of their 2nd album with a swirl of controversy. But while many would imagine that statement to mean something along the lines of, "wow, these dudes are offensive," it’s more like, "wow, these dudes are in a band together? And playing this?"
Controversy Number One: Comprised of Rancid crooner (term used incredibly loosely) Tim Armstrong
, Blink-182/Boxcar Racer drummer Travis Barker
and AFI roadie Rob Aston
, the Transplants sound isn’t exactly what you’d expect from today’s biggest punk rawk stalwarts.
[The Transplants] definitely has a punk backbone to it, but it’s not fair to say it’s just a punk rock album. There’s punk, hip-hop, rocksteady, reggae, industrial - everything. Ever since day one there were rumours it would sound like Blink-182 or Rancid, but it couldn’t be further from that. It all started as a project for Tim to work on outside of the Rancid sound, so why would it sound like that? And as for Travis, he wasn’t asked to join until after everything was written, so how could he have brought in that much Blink-182 influence that fast?
In the making since early 2000, the Transplants has been more a labour of love than anything else. With bandmates that are always busy, it couldn’t be anything else, which is why much of the mouthpiece business falls to Aston. That, and it’s his first chance to shine.
Controversy Number Two: Being Aston’s first band, many of the buying public attack him for the usual coattail riding and other jealous whatnot, adding that if it weren’t for the high profile members, the Transplants would never have gotten off the ground. He’s quick to counter.
"I moved to L.A. without the intention of being in a band at all," he says. "Tim asked me to join, so what was I gonna say? No? I doubt anyone else would be stupid enough to pull a stunt like that. Besides, this isn’t some silly side project for any of us. These songs were Tim’s before he even knew what he was gonna do with them. We don’t look at each other like, "You're less important" or anything like that. If anyone left, there wouldn’t be a band. I’m the lowest profile person on the album, but if I left, it would be over. If Travis or Tim left, it would be over. We wouldn’t get replacements, cause it won’t happen if one of us isn’t into it. We'll keep doing this as long as we can, but once someone's not into it, this band is over. How many other bands have the balls to say that?
the Transplants is...
Tim Armstrong - Guitar/Vocals
Rob Aston - Vocals
Travis Barker - Drums
- This is a really strong opener to this album. It starts off with great drums. But that's expected with Travis' skills. There is a lot of fast singing here too. It's one of the quicker pace songs on the album. Filled with profanity and cool lyrics, this is one of the best songs on the album. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, and is one of the highlights on the album. 4.5/5
- This is a track about the war and is all about the current problems in the world. Tim lists them like it's nothing. His voice just barley over powers the amazing drum beat going on in the backround. This is the closest thing this band will ever get to being political. It's still good and experimental for the band and it shows that they can take chances in the future. 4/5
Gangsters & Thugs
- This is one of the slower songs on the album but the drums remain at a steady and fast pace throughout. The rapping is actually good here. The lyrics are pretty cool. Not to mention that this is also the single off the album. I also like Tim's singing and guitar in this song. The guitar is nothing special but it does add something to the chorus. THe catchiness factor is also the reason it's my favorite song on the album. 5/5
What I Can't Describe
- This is a very different track. The drums (as always) stand out. The song begins with a choir singing. Then goes into rap. This isn't my favorite song because Tim is conspicously absent for most of the song. It doesn't have guitar either. Now this is a good example of a bad example of trying something new. If that didn't make any sense, I'm sure the rating will. 2/5
- This is a really cool song and Tim sounds drunk. He always slurrs his speech but this is over slurred. He sounds like Hannibal Lecter is eating his brain as he speaks if that makes any sense. This song is pretty much Tim drunken singing, Rob's backround vocals, and Travis being amazing on drums. Nothing special but cool drum fills and good lyrics. 3.5/5
- This is an extremely cool song title but it's way too much rapping for my liking. You can't really tell what the song is about but the title must give a hint, hmmm. Well anyway, this isn't their best work but it's not the worst. 2/5
- This is a huge anthem on guns. It's pretty funny if you listen to the lyrics. The rapping also sounds really good here also. I guess it's just Tim and Rob combos are really catchy. The song also has a pretty cool guitar soloin the middle. This is one of the best songs on the album and it is a huge highlight on the album also. 4.5/5
- This is one of the heavier songs on the album as it picks up the pace entirely. This is about as good as the first track. It maintains speed and sticks to the beat really well. I really like this song too. It's one of my favorite songs on the album. It's also pretty long which is good because this song is balls-to-the-wall greatness. 4.5/5
Hit The Fence
- This song is all Rob. Which is good and bad in many forms. His rapping is at it's finest here. With obscenities to boot. But most of the words that come out of his mouth seem forced at times. The beat in the backround has this 80's hip-hop feel to it, which is cool. It's not my favorite but being about as un-biased as possible, I can tell it's a good song for the people that like rap. 3/5
Pay Any Price
- One my favorite songs but has this weird alarm sound during the chorus. The guitar stands out here also. Tim can really play. But the Tim playing and Rob rapping really isn't all that bad. This is one of the few moments on the album that the guitar stands out. Overall, this is a great song. One of the best here. 4/5
I Want It All
- This is a pretty good song. The intro is extremely annoying and gets on my nerves when I hear it. This is once again, pretty much the same song as the previous so just look there for the review of this song. Seriously, they're pretty much exactly the same. 4/5
Crash & Burn
- This is a really electronic song if you know what I mean. It's all a turntable and reggae. Not really a good closer to this album. It is irrelevant to the rest of the album. It has a different style then the rest of the songs so it's a bit of a disappointment. But it's a little catchy. So I guess it's okay. 3/5
This was a pretty good album. It completley owns their first cd. It has more rhythmic songs and better lyrics. Overall, all the songs are really catchy and you can never get enough of Travis' drumming.
+ Great Drumming!
+ Good Rock/Rap Hybrid.
+ Good Cameos From Other Artists.
- Too Much Rap!
- Short Songs
Gangsters & Thugs
*if you liked my review please click the 'yes' link that says it was helpful. thanks :)