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