In a Warzone

Eight years after a second album whose forays into rap and techno barely masked how few decent songs it had, Transplants – Rancid's Tim Armstrong, blink-182's Travis Barker and an irritable ex-roadie they call Skinhead Rob – are back to the kind of restless, high-def rock and roll outcasts once called punk. It's a sound more Clash than hardcore – "Come Around" and "Back To You" dare to feature acoustic guitar, which Woody Guthrie claimed killed fascists long before distortion pedals existed. With some exceptions, Rob has mercifully given up trying to rap, but still shouts with a rhythmic verve that outclasses his Warped Tour-core peers. He has nothing interesting to say about the government, but that's okay: This is music better measured in bruises sustained than brain cells expanded.

From The Archives Issue 1186: July 4, 2013
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