CD Review: Transplants

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 25.07.13 | Issue # 348




26 July, 2013

It’s been eight years since we last saw a Transplants record hit the shelves, and In A Warzone is miles apart from the band’s last effort, 2005’s Haunted Cities. It’s their most consistent album to date and gives the impression they spent more time on the songs and writing together.

Being a punk supergroup, the best way to analyse In A Warzone is to pull apart the songs and critique what each member brings to the table. It’s interesting to hear Blink-182’s Travis Barker hold a simple beat rather than thrashing his arms in every direction. There’s ample opportunity to unleash, but he manages to restrain himself, leaving the duel vocals of Tim Armstrong and Skinhead Rob to do most of the work.

Rob is upfront for most of the record, but Transplants are at their best with Tim Armstrong behind the mic (Come Around a prime example), and even then Armstrong’s voice is so distinctive that you might as well be listening to Rancid. Rob’s one-tone singing almost gets annoying after a while – when he’s not pushing husky melodies from the back of his throat, he actually doesn’t sound too bad.

While this is a decent album, with a line-up of this calibre, the music produced is below par. The fact is, if it weren’t for the status of Transplants’ members, no one would really care about these songs. But, as they have made widely known, this band is an excuse to hang out with friends and make music, and their carefree and fun attitudes towards this project definitely come through in these 12 songs.

Daniel Cribb


Show Review: Ball Park Music 12.07.13

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 19.07.13 | Issue # 347

Pic by Daniel Cribb

Pic by Daniel Cribb



Pop with a grunge edge kicked off the final date on the Thanks Ewes Tour, as Brisbane indie pop frontman Jeremy Neale put his vocal chords to the test. Every time Neale pushed his smooth melodic voice to an aggressive, scream-like yell, he commanded more attention from the room.

The Fat Wreck sticker plastered front and center on Richard Bradbeer’s bass was the first clue in figuring out Eagle & The Worm’s origins. With a horn section supplying a ska vibe and the rest of the band throwing in elements of pop and rock, it’s a difficult task to describe their sound. Whatever category they fall under, they do it loud and well. A five-part harmony to finish out their set left audience members in silent awe.

No sooner than Ball Park Music surfaced amidst a melody of ‘80s pop classics did people tie their shoes, secure the contents of their pockets and erupt into a dancing fit. iFly saw frontman Sam Cromack discard his guitar and run in circles around the stage, throwing his microphone franticly between hands whilst rolling out every hand gesture known to man. Without a guitar to anchor him down, Cromack has the charisma and energy that few other frontmen possess.

Halfway into their set, a bra made its way onto the stage. After a brief discussion on Cromack’s “tiny hairy nipples”, the rest of the band vacated the stage leaving the vocalist in front of a keyboard and under the spotlight for Coming Down. While the intimate performance was a good way to break up the set, it would have greatly benefited from bassist Jennifer Boyce’s harmonies.

Despite the serious nature of the few songs that followed, more underwear was tossed onstage. It was clear the audience wanted more party tunes, and that’s exactly what was delivered in the form of Sad Rude Future Dude and Literally Baby.

The Next Life Already, “a fun but a bit depressing” new song, revealed they’ve got plenty of hits left up their sleeve, and old fans were treated to a one-off performance (or so they said) of Sea Strangers.

It was the upbeat, key-driven songs that were the real dance numbers, and after a concise encore that ended with The Beatles’ Eight Days A Week, there was not a Fence Sitter in sight.

Daniel Cribb

DRUM MEDIA: Black Flag Column (Issue 347)

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 19.07.13 | Issue # 347

The Offspring's Dexter Holland

The Offspring’s Dexter Holland



Presumably you’re reading this because you’re an avid listener of punk rock and/or hardcore. If that’s the case, you’re probably not too fond of the Australian Warped Tour line-up. Featuring one punk rock band, headliners The Offspring, it doesn’t really resemble the Warped Tour most Australians grew to love when it first ventured down under in ‘97. In 2002, the last time it came to Australia, the bill featured Frenzal Rhomb, Guttermouth, Pennywise, All, The Vandals and more. This time it’s directed at teenagers; the kids who still go to shows, and most of them probably don’t know whom The Offspring are.

Snubbing Perth, the line-up really isn’t of any concern to WA residents. And if you are a fan of The Offspring, paying $100 just to see them isn’t justifiable, which is where WA punk rock fans are in luck. Promising we’d receive a few sideshows, co-promoter AJ Maddah said in a tweet that The Offspring would hopefully be doing a Perth sideshow.

Although one of the biggest punk rock bands in the world, The Offspring know all about DIY, especially frontman Dexter Holland. On top of stimulating the US economy via hair gel and bleach purchases, he owns a hot sauce company (Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce – it’s available online) and, until recently, ran the iconic Nitro Records. He has sold the label he founded back in 1994 to The Bicycle Music Company. Hopefully they won’t dismantle its legacy band by band.

Nitro Records has released music from The Vandals, A Wilhelm Scream, The Aquabats to name a few, and one of the first bands he signed was a young AFI. Back when nobody knew who AFI were, he saw their potential. Recently, I mentioned we could expect some new AFI soon, and a new single, 17 Crimes, has surfaced on iTunes. The only problems, it’s on the Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones soundtrack and you can’t just buy the one song, you have to pay $10 and deal with the other shitty 11 songs that will by saved into your library.

You don’t have to look too far within the punk rock community to see a family tree forming. Drum machine Atom Willard, The Offspring’s ex-drummer, is currently in the studio with long-time pal Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio) finishing off a new EP for joint project theHELL. The pair released Sauve Les Requins mid-2013; four songs that sounded like Alkaline Trio b-sides that saw Willard unable to bust out and do anything too creative. Hopefully the new EP will have something more to offer.

Willard is exceptionally busy and can’t sit still for too long (the reasons he departed The Offspring and Angels & Airwaves) and was here with Against Me! for Big Day Out this year and was also spotted teching for The Vandals at Soundwave. With Big Day Out locking in a Perth date, Sunday 2 February, it’s almost time to try and figure out who the token punk band on the line-up will be. This year we had Against Me!, and last year was Frenzal Rhomb.

Maybe looking into what bands have new releases on the horizon is a good way to start. Strung Out, Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Say Anything have all announced new releases in the past fortnight and, unfortunately, it looks like Fall Out Boy will be dropping some new material sometime in the near future. They posted a picture on their website of themselves in the studio with Ryan Adams last week. Their most recent record, Save Rock And Roll, was beyond awful.

To try and undo some of the damage created from uttering their name in this column, I’ll round things out with some news from the hardcore realm. Defeater’s new record, Letters Home, came out on Tuesday and is streaming in its entirety now via the Bridge Nine Bandcamp. Until next time, clean your ears out with some of Massachusetts’ finest hardcore! NEW YORK’S H20 DROP OFF WARPED TOUR LINEUP



13 July, 2013

Daniel Cribb

Shortly after the Warped Tour line-up was announced on Wednesday night, New York punk hardcore band H20 disappeared off the bill with no explanation.

Promoter AJ Maddah has confirmed via Twitter the band would not be making the trip and should not have been announced.

“We invited H2O & initially it looked positive so they were on draft line up & mock artwork. Unfortunately wrong file was sent out,” Maddah said.

“H2O were never confirmed for #WarpedAU and should not have been on the poster in the 1st place,” he added.

On Thursday, H20 guitarist Todd Morse gave the impression he the band was confirmed for the tour.

“Hey Australia, see you at ‪@warpedtourAU also, can you give us ‪@pink back soon. She is missed! Thanks,” he tweeted.

Maddah said it was doubtful their name would appear on the second artist announcement at the end of July

“We gave them a very reasonable offer and they came back asking for insane money.”

Check out’s exclusive interview with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and co-promoter/Soundwave boss AJ Maddah here.