Transit - Listen & Forgive (Cover Artwork)


Listen & Forgive (2011)

Rise Records

There is a change here that's not so much startling, but more of a progression that was warranted. I noticed it the first time I witnessed Transit perform live. The potential to graduate from upstart hardcore/pop-punkers into a more mature band with hindsight has finally been taken, and with their third full-length, Listen & Forgive, Transit do it amicably. There is a list of things to mention, first with the production. Rise Records have allowed the band to create a great sounding album and one with lasting appeal in regards to current well-made executions. This doesn't feel nor sound like a cheaply done piece, but more of a rewarding gift. I say this because the band deserves it, seeing as how their previous efforts were a bit on the scruffier side. Next and most obvious are the vocals of Joe Boynton. If I had to give out a reward for most improved singer, this guy would win it. You can hear more confidence and a sense of urgency, like this might be his last chance to prove something, which in some cases could perhaps be. He is still familiar, but with a better range that made me think of Chris Conley from Saves the Day, or Kenny Bridges of .Moneen.. What's upsetting is the almost forgotten, gruff vocals of guitarist Tim Landers. His contribution is mellower and brings to mind the backups of bands like Taking Back Sunday, but without the orgcore.

Tighter playing is given by the members; drumming and bass progressing greatly, and even though second guitarist Joe Lacy has left, his replacement, Torre Cioffi, makes up the difference with adequate musicianship. Piano parts and vocal effects are added to the songs, but it's not really a hindrance. On opening track, "You Can't Miss It (It's Everywhere)", you should notice some of these production tricks. Take that for what you want–it doesn't really change the overall tone. Speaking of added effects, I'd like to say that the addition of Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy on the song "All Your Heart" isn't much to write home about. Sure, the guy can sing decently, but it's not like this really big deal. He just sort of blends in, like most effects.

The title track is perhaps the best song here. With lyrics reminiscing summer time–"We're lighting fires in July / To cleanse us of the heat / You beg you plead / You promise not to leave / You're just like everyone / You're just like everything," the raise in the bar is notable. Like as if reaching for that last bit of young angst before the time of maturity and adulthood. Some of us have been there, some not yet, thusly, this album is representing that certain time. The guys in this band are still young, but not that young, you see? A right time for speaking one's state at the moment.

To make a reference, there is a connection to another band in this pop-punk scene, and that's New Found Glory, but the referral is to their underrated, polarizing album, Coming Home. Transit seem to have reached that point and with these more mature, mellower songs, you might sense a dramatic drop in fanbase, but who were those people anyway? The band's current live setting should be an interesting showpiece in regards to crowd reactions.

Track seven, "Skipping Stones" is an acoustic number and reminds one of the song "Outbound", off their 2009 EP, Stay Home. With their nearly all-acoustic EP from earlier this year, Something Left Behind, Transit proved themselves to be capable of accomplishing this task that is almost cliché in the emo/pop-punk scene. The choruses are big and the duel vocals sharp.

The final track, "Over Your Head" is a good sendoff. Not so much an epic closer, but more of an exhausted final run to the finish line. Once the album is over and looked back upon, one might age with a sense of better insight. The reach for acceptance doesn't seem so much for an audience as it is for themselves. The world outside the scene that gave the band their history is now open. There is truly something great here, and Transit need to be congratulated for reaching that point.