Transit - Something Left Behind
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Record Label: Mightier Than Sword Records
Blake Solomon once said in some thread that he felt weird calling a specific band his favorite band. But he said in that thread that Transit is a band that he recommends to people regardless of the music that they like, and that he forces this band down people's throats at times. The reason why I remember this is weird, I don't really know why I remember it, but I'm pretty sure I quoted him right.
The reason why I bring this up, however, is simple. I know for a fact that Transit isn't my favorite band. But I also know that, like Blake, I will tell anybody and everybody to listen to them, and they are one of the few bands I can say that about. These Boston, Mass., natives don't exactly play pop-punk, but they play something kind of close and a little heavier and a little different.
Something Left Behind is an acoustic EP from the group, and it features a song from every release they've had as well as three brand spanking new songs from, um, this release. Seeing as how the new songs are new, I'll talk about one of those first.
Opener "Indoor Voices" is a microcosm of why people love Transit and why people who don't love Transit should love them. The track is fairly slow, and while it features the plucking of an acoustic guitar, it doesn't feel like an acoustic song whatsoever. The drums are beautifully deafening, keeping pace for vocalist Joe Boynton to belt out lyrics like, "I always seem to relate to strays / Waiting for someone to come along / And take me away / To give me all the attention that we all crave." The voiceovers at the end of the track end it not quietly, but softly, leaving an imprint on the listener. This sort of track kind of just comes out of left field from the band, but the different sound works extremely well and it turns out to be a gem.
The acoustic versions of "Hope This Find You Well" and "Please Head North" are both phenomenal insights into the raw talent that these Boston boys bring to the table. While it's been documented that Transit can play very well very loudly, hearing these normally adrenaline-paced rockers slowed down a bit is an awesome opportunity. "Please Head North" is, naturally, a standout, as perhaps the group's most popular song gets a makeover for Something Left Behind. The complementing guitars are the basis for Boynton's vocals, which seem shockingly well-placed in these acoustic settings.
"Just Go, Just Leave" is another new song, a faster-paced acoustic track that actually sounds like an acoustic song, with intricate guitars and drums that are ever-present but not overpowering. Transit does well to transfer its passionate sound to the acoustic arena, as the group still provides the listener with plenty of one-liners to yell back at them.
"Stay Home" is, not surprisingly, another standout. The best guitar work on the EP is present here and the song, while maybe not as powerful as it is in its true form, takes on a life of its own when the gang vocals kick in.
Transit sort of cheats at the end of this release, throwing in "1978" as the closer. I mean sure, they said that this was an acoustic EP, but that didn't stop them from penning a song that sounds like it's best friends with most of Keep This To Yourself. After listening to about 24 minutes of Transit playing acoustic stuff, what's better than hearing three minutes of the band turning up the volume and playing how it knows best? The dual vocals on "1978" give it more of a traditional pop-punk feel than some of Transit's other songs, and it's not just a great closer, but probably one of the better songs in the band's catalog.
Something Left Behind, above anything else, shows this band's graceful versatility. Just the fact that they have the ability to slow down and flesh out these old songs into a new form is impressive. But the fact that they can write quality new songs in an acoustic frame is close to stunning. This EP took my breath away the first time I heard it because it's something that I would have never expected to hear from this particular band, but I won't be caught off guard next time and I won't underestimate them.
Next time I'll know that Transit can probably do just about anything.
Awesome review. The band and Jesse should all be proud of the music they produce. It's hard to come across good music these days, but Transit and Man Overboard are both definitely the rising bands of 2011. Good luck to them and whatever their future holds. They will both go extremely far. I'm proud of them.