The Transplants - The Transplants (Cover Artwork)

The Transplants

The Transplants (2002)


Though I haven't quite been following the media hype surrounding this release, I've still anticipated it greatly. However, I didn't know it would be this good. The Transplants are of course the supposed ‘hip-hop fused with punk' experiment involving Tim Armstrong, Travis Barker and the unknown vocalist Rob Aston. The album opens with a mean metal riff and a raspy viseral introduction to our man Aston on lead vocals, his style could be described as hip-hop delivery with a harsh punk rock snarl. And so our journey through some of the darkest yet moving music experiences begins.

I believe the second track Tall Cans In The Air is being touted as the single, one of the more radio-friendly songs, probably. It also serves to introduce Lint into the fray, in his unmistakable voice which he seems to have an unbelievable control over, moreso in this record. Ranging from his take-on at rapping to his Rancid 2000 rough-as-fuck storming vocals, Tim and Rob partner brilliantly playing off each other well as the lead weaves between the two.

One highly intense few minutes in the album features AFI's wavey Davey Havok alongside Aston on ‘Quick Death'. The guitars could best be described as death metal but the net result is easily far better. Sweeping pick slides merged with a battering array of strangely catchy riffs all with Havok's unmistakebly mad screams and stalemate Blink man's solid drumming. Barker's drumming is sound throughout the record and never fails to add to the overall sound, laying down the distictness that this album and the band has.

Before you can even begin to comprehend what's going on, they go all sentimental on us, ‘Sad But True'. It's all good though, I rate this particular song as one of my favourites, there's just something about it all that makes my eyes well up. It still has pace to it but it is one of the slower numbers and features some seemingly angelic oozin'-aaahs and Lint sounding almost cockney in parts.

Lyrically, the theme of the album is akin to a good gangster movie; guns, dark imagery, folk getting shot, and lot's of drugs. The album follows a lot of hip hop music in this respect, cue references to chronic and the fact that ‘Transplants are in da house', though I'm not actually a fan of the rap genre, the lyrics strike me as being amoungst the best of this year. It's nice to hear things from a different perspective for a change, in a scene that's currently bogged down with pop-punk and the same tired ideas going round and round. It's only what we've come to expect from the man that gave us OPIV.