“It’s A Problem”
June 25, 2013 - Epitaph
Previous Transplants albums basically felt like a vehicle for Tim Armstrong and Travis Barker to step outside the punk confines of their full-time gigs (Rancid and Blink-182, respectively), dabbling with bits of funk, hip-hop and electronica. While those elements still exist to a smaller degree on In A Warzone, their first full-length since 2005’s Haunted Cities, this new batch sounds more like a collection of Rancid castoffs, just with co-vocalist Skinhead Rob sharing the mic with Armstrong instead of Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen. There’s a lot of toothy, straight-up “Fuck the Man” punk rock (e.g. the title track, “See It To Believe It,” “All Over Again” and “Any Of Them”), but it all kind of rips by in a breeze, aside from maybe the raucous “Back To You.” It’s the rare moments when the group truly branch out that the real interesting material emerges, like on rap-heavy cuts “Something’s Different” and “It’s A Problem” (the latter based on a wicked Middle Eastern loop) or the sludge metal of “Gravestones And Burial Plots,” or even the simple, rolling acoustic rock of “Come Around.” There’s a good deal of filler on In A Warzone, to be sure, but fortunately there are still some rewards awaiting those who stick it out.