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The most important thing that anyone who hears this album needs to keep in the back of their head is this; The Transplants ARE NOT Rancid, or Blink 182 for that matter, or the Distillers or AFI, even though each of those bands are represented in at least one track on this album. However, the tracks on their self titled debut kick your ass as hard, if not harder, than all those bands combined.
Transplants is the brain child side project of modern day punk deity Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Operation Ivy), who plays guitar and has some vocal parts on this album. It all started when he conjured up some drum tracks on his computer using ProTools, and asked friend Ron Ashton to pen some lyrics, thus creating the Transplants. However, after completing most of the album, they realized that it needed an actual drummer as opposed to just drum tracks, cue one of the best drummers making music right now, Travis Barker. He spent one day in the studio, and laid down the drum tracks and thus completed one of the better side projects in a long time.
The whole album can be basically summed up as a punk experimenting with other genres, because the kick ass fuck you punk attitude is heard on every track, either in the music or more obviously the lyrics. Nonetheless, this isn't a punk album, but the only album that readily comes to mind that it even remotely resembles is Rancid's Life Won't Wait, and it isn't because Tim is in both bands. Both albums have a real punk feel to both of them, but there is so much else mixed in that it takes on a new life of its own. On Transplants every track has a different feel, jumping from hardcore to reggae, to rap, even adventuring into nu metal with some of the guitar riffs. For example, "Tall Cans In the Air", the album's party anthem exclaims "Tall cans in the/ Let me see 'em/ Fuck You" as the chorus, and rocks out to extremely well done guitar riffs, and guest appearances from Matt Freeman of Rancid, and Brody Armstrong of The Distillers. The rap influence is seen on "Diamonds and Guns" which features Son Doobie of Funkdoobiest. Every track offers the listener a different feel, and it doesn't get boring at any point.
This album is defiantly good if you're tired of all the same music that has polluted so many airwaves today, this is worth a listen, even if you aren't a fan of any of the performers on this album. Transplants rocks on so may different levels, and this album was defiantly a good idea. I can't wait to see this band live (they are planning to tour sometime in 2003), and based on this album, oh what a show it will be.
Jason Cipriano is an Assistant Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.