Emotive Popular Punk Rockers!
Ten years ago and Pop/Punk was huge. Chugging guitars, bouncing beats and simple vocal melodies climaxed with anthem choruses that dripped with feelgood-lyrics of parties, schools and girls. Even broken hearts and suicide attempts were sung with a huge smile on your face, and a musical generation were able to agree with the Monty Python lads, permanently looking on the bright side, and poking fun at each other with a frat-boy camaraderie. However like a new lustful relationship the new and exciting can all too soon become the norm and before we knew it, for every Blink 182, there were a dozen or so watered down versions.
Then instead of skater-wear, baseball caps and sweatbands worn too far up your forearms, somewhere somebody decided that things were too bright, bold and beautiful. Hair was grown and straightened, eyeliner became popular with both sexes, and black was the only colour required in your wardrobe. Emo spread like a vicious rumour and whilst we were drowned in lyrics of melancholic reality there was something more thoughtful and more musically challenging than what had come before. So now what we have is a bastard-child of these two genres that has thoughtful lyrics, but a gracious abundance of melodies and a more happy contemplative outlook on life.
Transit are a band that have transformed themselves. They were never totally Pop/Punk, and they certainly never indulged in the Goth depths of Emo, but they have managed to keep a close eye on the rock music scene giving the listener something that they want. However with all of this said, I'll be honest, their previous album, Listen & Forgive released in 2011 fell into a sea of many other bands. There was nothing wrong with it, but the sound was too polished, and not many tracks stood out giving us an album that was very similar to a handful of others of the time. Thankfully, the band have again tweaked their sound into something that has a more earthy feel. The songs here on Young New England are a slightly more accessible and certainly more memorable.
With Young New England Transit have managed to bridge the gap on many genres. Whilst there is the aforementioned clash between Pop/Punk and EMO, there is definitely something very Indie about the raw Pop/Rock sound of melodic guitars and vocalist Joe Boynton. This is evident in the thoughtful songs, Bright Lights, Dark Shadows, and Lake Q. However, it is the quick Folk-influenced Rock of opener Nothing Lasts Forever that showcases what the band have to offer. Quick lyrics, and guitars that could easily be played on the fiddle give a highly upbeat beginning to the album. Then within the same vein we have the Folky-drink-influenced track of, Young New England that is as catchy as Hell. It is one of my favourite tracks here.
Elsewhere on the album we have the straight up Emo of Second To Right, the delicious bass-led Rock of Sleep followed by the mid-tempo upbeat Emo-Pop of So Long, So Long. Then there is the lazy Rock of, Hang It Up which has big riffs, but a more laid back feel and tempo. Whilst the desperation of love is the topic of the well thought out anthem of Don't Go, Don't Stray. Summer, ME is a fusion of Classic Rock with a Country EMO twist before things slow right down for Hazy.
The evolution of music is imperative to not only the bands themselves but the listening public. Transit have embraced this with a seamless ease, and with Young New England, they have managed to once again pull themselves away from the crowd with a good solid album.