by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
February 13th, 2006 | 19 replies

Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

It’s 50% off day at the local record store. Sick of putting up All-American Rejects and Get Behind Me Satan posters, the front clerk anxiously watches the entry to the store as three separate customers walk in at once. The first customer, styling a sexually-confused hairstyle, and a t-shirt that reads Take Off Your Pants & Jacket, heads toward the New Releases section with a confident, fat wallet (mama’s boy). The other, a quite intimidating-looking skinhead, with a straightforward Hersham Boys shirt, heads toward the used section, hoping to find dated albums from the 70s which people might have ‘miraculously’ brought in. The last one, making quite a statement, entering with a Fuck Da’ Police XXXL tee-shirt, and enough gold on his gums to make Jacob the Jeweler shriek, heads towards the back clerk and commences to talk about meeting some ‘Mary Jane’ or whatnot. No matter. It wasn’t long until these three fellows worked their way back to the front of the store, looking rather unsatisfied, not having found anything to their liking. Surprising for a large record store of its kind (it was the early-bird sale earlier). There on the floor, lies a copy of the Transplants first record. Having knowledge of what variety the band can accomplish on the radio, and still possessing enough cash (and grass-money) to purchase something, all three realize they want it, and with no surprise, the clerk watches the fight between the three gentlemen begin. It’s anyone’s win, but then again, I got a buck on the taller fellow. The clerk took a good look at those gold-fronts earlier and they looked like they meant business.*

Variety is key, whether it’s music, or a music-influenced record-store brawl. The Transplants are to date, one of the best examples of variety that can be presented in the form of music. Rancid front-man Tim Armstrong first started to experiment with tracks of new material with inventive computer softwares, until he called on friend Rob Aston to supply vocals. To follow were many other friends from Tim’s successful label, until the verdict became evident. Tim sensed this was the perfect opportunity to break off into another side-project. Having gotten involved in writing a lot more of rhythmic material, as well as loop-effects and turntables to mixes, he was to respectively dominate the instrumental portion of the band. Rob Aston was to provide most vocals, while Tim later decided to call Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker to the Transplants’ clean slate. The lineup was done, complete with scheduled appearances of many artists to provide their own unique contributions. In 2002, they released their debut self-titled record.

Breaking onto the general public with haste, the band is often pretty much only known for the breakthrough-single-gone-shampoo-jingle. Your mother, your little sister, and your dog has heard the Transplants. Garnier Fructis is an excellent shampoo/conditioner, but unfortunately, I’m not reviewing that at the moment. The jingle can best be expressed as whoo-ing plea led by a great lead on the piano. Nevertheless, introduce to the average Diamonds And Guns listener to some of the other tracks on the band’s first album, and expect a peculiar reaction. The Transplants do their large share of experimenting with hip hop, reggae, drum n bass, minor elements of dub and funk, and a large kick of punk. How did they sell this ***, you ask" It may be the introduction of a large arsenal of vocalists, ranging from rapper-cameos, to song-writers Lars Frederiksen (Rancid), Davey Havok (AFI), and Vic Ruggiero (Slackers). The variety of musical approaches on this album, as well of ready-to-go appearances by big names in differently-spread genres, makes this an excellent clash of good sounds, all cleverly well-built, and leave you with a sense that you have to simply listen in again.

Let’s go over our three protagonists, shall we" The mentality of taking three guys from completely different pools of musical adjustments works very well, and just adds to the originality. Remember the kooky, strangely-autistic-sounding voice from Rancid" Tim Armstrong delivers on this glimmering debut. He takes control of basically every other source of melody on his own, that’s guitars, bass, turntables, and various loop effects that cause transitions. His vocals shimmer bright as always, but fail to stand out as well when he drops us some rhymes. Tim is horrible at rapping, and on Down In Oakland, you can sense struggle. No matter. He makes up for it plenty. His vocals in plenty of the more punk-influenced tracks are excellent, and the song writing tells of drugs, murder, broken relationship, and stories from specific people. It always does great material for him and Aston to rap about, and keeps things on track.

Aston is a multi-tasking monster on this. He’s able to pull off excellent rapping on nearly every track on the album, as well as some high-octane yelling (Quick Death, One Seventeen). He’s right up there with Tim, just because when you hear the guy, it sounds like he’s giving it his all. As far as Travis, Blink’s rhythmic savior (Hoppus was always mehh), he goes an extra effort to spice up some of the hip hop songs, but never gets farther than presenting a clean, solid beat. As his stuff was written for these types of music, nothing can be held against his work. I will say though, that his work on One Seventeen is his old drumming revisited. Excellent effort, clean, and causes a riot with the background stuff.

From the heavier riffs that seem to belong in 90s grunge (Romper Stomper, Tall Cans In The Air, Quick Death), to laid back dubbed scores (Weigh On My Mind, We Trusted You), the album brings together some of the best from separate ends of the industry. Frederiksen on We trusted You, Havok on the brutally intense Quick Death, Danny Diablo on the definite rap score D.R.E.A.M.. These are some of the few guests that accompany the Transplants for the ride. The variety on this is incredible, and is always open for pick-me-ups by many listeners of genres galore. If all this was somehow categorized onto its own category, I must say it would dominate.

**After discovering the back clerk was holding out on more copies of the album, and his own stash of bud, he was taken down by the three angered customers. Everyone goes home happy, only with small bruises and a minor swell of pride.

Transplants- Transplants-
Tim Armstrong- Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Loops, Percussion
Rob Aston- Vocals
Travis Barker- Drums

Matt Freeman- Bass
Davey Havok- Vocals
Vic Ruggiero- Piano
Lars Frederiksen- Vocals
Danny Diablo- Vocals
And others

Stand Out Tracks:
Tall Cans In The Air
Diamonds And Guns
One Seventeen
Weigh On My Mind
California Babylon



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user ratings (185)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 13th 2006


haha good review.

February 13th 2006


That opening paragraph made me laugh as hard as DFelon's opener for Vheissu. Great review Rudd. Jacob The Jeweler, :lol:
As for the album, I love the Transplants, but they're gone now.

Storm In A Teacup
February 13th 2006


[quote=review]The other, a quite intimidating-looking skinhead, with a straightforward Hersham Boys shirt, heads toward the used section, hoping to find dated albums from the 70s which people might have miraculously brought in.[/quote]Entwistle?
Great review, Rudd. I've only heard the one single from their sophomore album, I didn't like it.

February 13th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Kripes, I'm not sure if Ent exactly fits in the category of a Skinhead...

I can admit he is cheap when purchasing though...

Eheh.This Message Edited On 02.13.06

February 13th 2006


Extremely well written review, yet I don't think that the Transplants have much variety. The opening paragraph was brilliant.
My friend burnt me a copy of this, and I was unsatisfied. Tim Armstrong and Travis Barker sound good put together, put things just didn't turn out good. I despise the rap tracks, and the more punk influenced songs are just average.

Storm In A Teacup
February 13th 2006


[quote=Rudd13]Kripes, I'm not sure if Ent exactly fits in the category of a Skinhead...

I can admit he is cheap when purchasing though...

Eheh.[/quote]hehe, I was mainly talking about looking for 70s albums.

February 13th 2006


Hilarious review Rudd.

February 14th 2006


Cool review.

Get back on msn you nucka.

February 20th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=codiak[/i]Does the music resemble Blink 182 in any way?[/quote]

Are you going to shy away from the music if I answer no?

It's a long way's way from the blink rescemblance, but may I suggest to try it out anyways, as this spectacular review explains that it's a great musical romp...

The Jungler
February 20th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Nice work on the reveiw, the opening paragraph was genius

I have only heard a little of the transplants (more off the second record then the first) and its pretty good stuff although i dont much care for Rob, his vocals are fairly awful.

Edit: forget that, I listened to this CD Rob is a much better rapper than I thought.This Message Edited On 03.12.06

December 30th 2006


This review was really funny. "one styles a sexually confused hairstyle" haha funny review!

here comes the bird flu
December 31st 2006


Nice opening paragraph. It sums up Transplants cd's in a very creative way.

December 25th 2008


This is pretty terrible.

Very entertaining review, however.

October 23rd 2011


Album Rating: 4.0

Now why can't all "rapcore" be this good? This album is amazing and really, really ahead of it's time.

Digging: Kevin Abstract - American Boyfriend: A Suburban Love Story

May 28th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

This is the time of year when I put this shit in my car's cd player, roll the volume up and the windows down.

Digging: Summoning - Oath Bound

Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

album kicks "travis barker before he stopped collabing with rock artists" ass

March 1st 2014


I really like this review.

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