Transit - Promise Nothing
Record Label: Rise Records
Release Date: April 16, 2011
While many of my fellow music nerds were most excited to "celebrate" Record Store Day by picking up rare vinyl releases from the likes of Glassjaw, Jimmy Eat World and Manchester Orchestra, my sights were set on Transit's Promise Nothing. I've had the pleasure of watching the band blossom from a local group (Massachusetts represent!) to a wider success through relentless touring and new releases.
Although they already put out an acoustic EP, Something Left Behind, earlier this year, Promise Nothing marks Transit's Rise Records debut. Signing the band (consecutively with Man Overboard) was atypical for the label - known mostly for "scene" metalcore garbage - but the promising act deserves every bit of the exposure they get, and then some.
Transit is often lumped in as a pop punk group, because they regularly play with bands in the genre. While pop punk is not an entirely inaccurate label for them - the band has its share of catchy hooks - they have a post-hardcore edge a la Small Brown Bike, along with a newfound sense of progression akin to Brand New, that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Promise Nothing was a limited edition, Record Store Day exclusive 7". It has a mere two tracks, but the band makes their short time count. "Take What You Can't," the record's A-side, goes in a direction not unlike that of "1978," one of the new tracks from Something Left Behind. Its noodley guitar work gives off a distinct '90s emo vibe.
At nearly five minutes, "I've Never Told That To Anyone" is the longest song in the band's catalogue. The B-side almost feels like two separate tracks. The first half is ballad-esque with a slow tempo lead by a guitar harmonic intro. The latter portion is more upbeat until the song culminates with a mesmerizing outro as vocalist Joe Boynton calmingly repeats "We need each other / We need each other / We need each other / Come keep me."
Promise Nothing is, by far, Transit's most mature effort to date - although the same could be said about each of their albums at the time of their respective releases. They are a rare breed of band that can progress consistently with each release while maintaining their core sound. If this is any indication of the evolution to be found on their upcoming third full length, Transit is on their way to becoming a "career" band, rather than just another pop punk group.
For me, Promise Nothing wasn't love at first sight. But after giving the two tracks a little time, these songs sound very good to me. It's like a mixture of early TBS, Brand New, Death Cab and Grown Ups (guitar intro of 'Take what you can'). I couldn't be more excited about their Rise Records full lenght debut later this year. Although I hope that the band will record some faster songs as well with a little more rough side to it.
"I've Never Told That To Anyone" blew me away on first listen, definitely their most mature stuff yet. So proud to come from the same area as them and watch them gain so much popularity over the past two years or so.