"Torn T-shirt not included"
Some might say after the demise of The Clash in the early 1980s, punk rock lost its musical creativity. The poppy high-school crush songs and tired anthems of non-conformity that passes for punk these days seem sappy and staid enough to make any self-respecting old-school punk rocker throw his safety pins into the trash.
Now, there's hope for punk in the form of the Transplants, a Southern California-based outfit who have the pedigree (members also are in Rancid and Blink-182) and purpose to shake the music out of its doldrums.
"We don't have any limitations and there's nowhere we can't go," said Transplants drummer Travis Barker, also a member of Blink-182 and Box Car Racer. "If we want to write something that reminds us of a country song, or a hard drum-and-bass song like Ministry -- almost an industrial sounding song -- we're going to do it. That's the reason for the Transplants."
The Transplants were formed when Tim Armstrong of Rancid and friend and rapper Rob Aston collaborated on a few songs. Drummer Barker was brought in and the result is a genre-bending, immediate and urgent type of punk that recalls the explorative sounds of the Clash's "Sandinista" landmark album.
The track "Diamonds and Guns," noted for a rolling piano riff and an exuberant "Whoo! whoo!", is a modern rock hit.
The band, which released its self-titled debut on Hellcat Records late last year, comes to Birch Hill in Old Bridge Thursday night.
"We believe (the album) should be a little different when played live," said Barker. "We play everything a lot faster and it's a lot more aggressive and that's pretty much it."
Sounds like punk to us.
Written by CHRIS JORDAN
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