In the recent emergence of the pop punk scene over the past few years, Transit has stuck out. And being from Boston, a city known for churning out tons of punk and hardcore bands all time, that’s not an easy thing to do. Rarely do you see a band progress THIS much from album to album, to the point where these guys have almost trademarked their own sound.
“Listen & Forgive” is the band’s third full length, which is quite the accomplishment seeing as how they are all still in their early 20s. Their first album “This Will Not Define Us” was their hardest and most raw. It included fan favorite “Stay Home”… punk rock at it’s finest. Then last summer, they released “Keep This To Yourself”, widely considered one of the top pop punk albums of the year. However, you could tell the band was starting to veer off in a more alternative direction. More intricate guitar riffs with a bit more of an “indie” sound. And now after hearing “Listen & Forgive” for the first time, I can positively say this band has found their sound and have written an album of the year contender.
These guys wasted no time in releasing a music video for “Long Lost Friends”, weeks before the album was due out. My jaw hit the ground after my first viewing. And it still did on my 20th viewing. It was the best song the band had written to date in my opinion. Great guitarwork, passionate, deeply personal, and ultimately super catchy with my favorite chorus of the year:
Because lately you’ve been looking at me
like you’ve seen a ghost.
And isn’t it obvious
who’s been missing who the most (missing who at all)?
I just wish that you had called
cuz I would have said it all.
If THIS was a taste of what was to come, boy were we in for a treat. The title track “Listen & Forgive” was the second song released. It’s a bit of a slower approach, but a huge hook in the sing-along chorus. You can tell they focused a lot more on the harmonies and melodies on this album than on Keep This To Yourself. “All Your Heart” is a major, major standout for one reason… Patrick Stump’s (vocalist of Fall Out Boy) guest vocals. His outstanding voice fits perfectly on this track… and his harmonizing with Joe Boynton at the end is something to behold.
If you’re expecting a hard record, look elsewhere. This is their slowest release yet and features the most ‘clean’ guitar music the band has ever written, but in the end it’s one of the reasons this album might be the best thing this year. The duel guitar and harmonizing notes on “Cutting Corners” is a thing of beauty and one of my favorite moments on the album. It just astonishes me at how unique their music and writing skills are for… I think people just take for granted a band’s talents, but these guys deserve a lot of recognition for what they do.
In the end, this album is going to go down as a classic record in the genre. This record will be to them as “Take This To Your Grave” was to Fall Out Boy. These guys are onto something special.
“Isn’t it amazing in this world that anyone can love anyone at all. Anyone. At all.”
Music video for “Long Lost Friends”: