By Kenzie Love
The cover of Haunted Cities, the latest release by Transplants, advises the album’s lyrics “may be unsuitable for some listeners.” The vast majority of listeners, prudes or not, will find most of the profanity peppering the disc’s 12 tracks gratuitous. In fact, some might be completely turned off by it, which would be a shame.
Haunted Cities is more than just a constant barrage of curse words. Though no one is going to mistake Transplants for Noam Chomsky or Jean Paul Sartre, it’s still refreshing to see American foreign policy and existentialist angst discussed in such a way as they are on “American Guns” and “Hit the Fence.” The album also contains some unexpected musical accompaniments, such as the wurtlizer organ that opens “Killafornia” and the trombone, saxophone and flute featured on the big band-style “Judgement Day.” The Transplants even avoid coming across as heavy handed, offering songs like the charming and catchy, if not particularly deep lyrically or musically, “Gangsters and Thugs.”
The English majors among us will appreciate Haunted Cities’ inventive similes. To quote one example, “Your life compared to mine is like wine compared to piss.” Well, they’ll appreciate them as long as they aren’t prudes.