Review by Shannon Shumaker
Moments into Transit’s newest full-length, Joyride, it’s apparent that the band has returned to their roots, and in the best way possible. While “The Only One,” the opening track on Joyride, sounds very similar to Transit’s 2011 effort, Listen & Forgive, the band has definitely not regressed. If anything, they’ve managed to take the best parts of the pop-punk style of Listen & Forgive and the more folky, laid-back sound of Young New England to create Joyride. Transit is moving forward, and as a fan, that’s exactly what you want to see from a band you love.
Joyride progresses beautifully from one track to the next, too. After “The Only One,” comes the more upbeat second song, “Saturday Sunday,” and then the album flows effortlessly into the catchy single, “Rest To Get Better.” And the best thing? No two songs sound the same. While the first four tracks are definitely more upbeat and pop-punk, the album’s fifth song, “Nothing Left To Lose” not only has a more unique folk sound to it, but it’s also easily one of the best tracks on the album. While it’s not as uptempo as the rest of the album, the guitar work is phenomenal on this track and Joe Boynton’s vocals absolutely shine. “Loneliness Burns” is also another great change of pace for Transit as it sounds completely different from anything the band has ever released. A simple, slow piano part brings the song in, and by the time the rest of the band comes in, I’m in love. Boynton’s vocals are amazing on this emotionally and lyrically charged slower track as he bellows, “It’s not fair/Life’s not fair.”
The only real gripe I have with this album is the effect on the vocals at times. While I can’t really place my finger on it, there are just some tracks that sound a little more edited than others that sound more raw and simple. Other than that one flaw, though, Joyride is an incredible effort - the guitar work on this album is some of the strongest in Transit’s history (especially in the seventh track, “Fine By Me”) and the vocals are still incredibly strong.
As a whole, Joyride is an absolutely solid record with an underlying message of hope and positivity. It’s hard not to smile when listening to this album. Joyride is a progression for Transit. At this point, the band knows what works for them, but instead of playing it safe and sticking to that, they manage to move forward with a new sound and pull it off amazingly. Transit is bound to keep old fans happy with this release as well as gain some new listeners, and that’s exactly what a great album should do.
Listen to "Nothing Left To Lose"