'Transplants' make it worth being on time...

San Antonio Express-News

Foo Fighters fans who show up fashionably late Monday will miss an opening act that has the look of a punk supergroup. But looks can be deceiving. Transplants, who include Rancid guitarist/songwriter Tim Armstrong; Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker; and Armstrong's pal, rapper/ex-roadie Rob Aston, have frequently been compared to the Clash. But not the early Clash, or the "Combat Rock"-era Clash. Transplants' experimentation and genre-jumping has had critics drawing comparisons to the Clash's sprawling, three-album set, "Sandinista!" which tried to redefine punk.

"I've heard that 'Sandinista!' comparison, too," Aston said in an interview in Alternative Press magazine. "We took a lot of elements from music that we like and made one record out of it" (the band's eponymous 2002 debut album).

"It's still a very street, very hard record with no sugarcoating," he added. "A lot of music out there sucks right now. We want to do something different."

Though several critics regard Aston's vocal contributions as the band's weakest link ("'Transplants' sounds best when he's not shouting about gats and hos," All Music Guide's Adam Bregman wrote), the record has been compared favorably to Rancid's much-loved 1995 album, "... And Out Come the Wolves." The Village Voice's Robert Christgau gave it an "A" in his celebrated Consumer Guide.

For the Foo Fighters tour, the trio will be augmented by Rancid bassist Matt Freeman, guitarist Craig Fairbauge from the California punk band the Forgotten, and Dave Carlock (synth/backing vocals), who produced and played guitar, bass and keyboards and sang on "Transplants."

Robert Johnson
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