Transit‘s always prided themselves on infectious and catchy alternative tunes. They blend pop-rock and indie pretty well and it’s because their clean sound is cultivated remarkably by Joe Boynton distinct voice. They’ve assembled a neat collection of stripped down music that earmarks them once more as smooth to listen to but more so, as endearing as ever.
“Long Lost Friends” and “Listen and Forgive” are acoustic reinterpretations off their 2011 record, named after the latter. They don’t reinvent the wheel much though. It works fine as it is. Both are as warm and emotionally connective as expected with Boynton is tip-top shape. The band’s back-up vocals are as soothing as ever. In the annals of indie-pop rock, Transit have etched their name and fans, old or new, would embrace the brevity of their sound or simply render their verdict after hearing just any one track off this album. Reason being, the band isn’t bogged down in technicality and they’re determined yet relaxed here. You feel the effervescence seep out as mainstream oozes out their voices.
In the annals of their genre, Young New England was another pretty decent record from them come 2013. It packed punch in its mellow strategy and one of their strategies was to exercise caution, which took away a bit from their potential. As precious a decision as that was, while some say it degraded their old stuff and came off pernicious, to me, it was just shooting with the safety on yet still managing to squeeze off a couple rounds. I think they eschewed themselves from trying to experiment or do too much and it gave birth to the catchy, anthemic “Young New England” and “So Long, So Long”. Both are well crafted here, with the latter being strung out by the neat drums of Daniel Frazer to add an electric atmosphere to the record. It’s bold. Nothing mind-boggling or delirious but a topsy-turvy curveball nonetheless.
Hearing them chime in on Boston life never sounded as good in the band’s honesty and inflections. All the originals are done unplugged justice otherwise. Here, the sharp hooks in the guitars stand out and I can’t help but gush praise. Behold their pop-rock power…and that’s an understatement. Rise has strung together a unique cadre of bands and whether you think they’re elite or rebound material, well their caliber can throw caution to the wind and tilt things a bit. Transit’s one of those bands who can rediscover, subvert, rapidly motivate and someday, maybe they’ll be a pioneer. But not anytime soon because they’re building blocks still, yet doing so well.
“Futures and Sutures” is the only new material on tap and it’s a melodious instrumental in waves of calm. Subtle but it feels like a thank you to the fans. These are a great bunch of guys – genuine and making music as such. Their evolution, progress, growth and development is still unfolding but Rise has a great one in their stable in Transit.
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