By Adam Goetz

In the spirit of side project experimentation and genre melding, the Transplants give you rap-punk. Hard to imagine, I know, but I can’t describe it any other way.

The band was formed in 1999 when Tim Armstrong (who also co-founded Rancid) played a beat he made in his home studio for Rob Aston, who had never been in a band before. Aston was commissioned to write some lyrics and soon after Travis Barker (of Blink-182) was asked to join.

Before you go out and buy this new Blink/Rancid collaboration simply on that fact alone, let me tell you what it sounds like. The album has an abundance of repetitive angry vocals about drinking, self-exaltation and “the struggle” in the midst of distorted guitars, pianos, synthesizers, and scratching. The song “D.R.E.A.M.” itself is essentially a homage to Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.” which is about as far from punk as you can get. I would like to say that this is a spoof but they don’t seem to break their composure at any time on the disk. This makes me think that they are serious.

Hopefully more people will learn to disassociate side projects from their former bands and no one will try this kind of experimentation ever again. Rap and punk–what the fuck were they thinking?

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