23 Sep 2023

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The Transits - Single/Video Review: Renegade Hearts

26 Jun 2023 // A review by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

The Transits are a NZ-South African band composed of Ryan Lunn (vocals, guitars, synths), Dom Antelme (vocals, bass) and Tyrone Smith (drums). Growing up in conservative South-African landscapes, their sound is thought to push the boundaries of how to be, and how to act. Their new single/video Renegade Hearts is a sound, style and brand intrinsic to the band’s upbringing and efforts to push away from a culture that restricts one’s own identity and image. In their early days, getting into trouble was a natural result of playing in a rock band, and defying their surrounding societal norms. Striving for ingenuity comes at the risk of scrutiny, and hence my choice to take on their review and give context to why music with this mindset brings attention. 

Renegade Hearts is a well-mixed, and well-mastered track which opens with clean and solid drums, with a fun, distorted background fuzz and a glaze of synth-pop. The video displays a fun collage of postmodern clip art, similar to that made by Andy Worhol in the 1960’s. I do hear a Blink-182 influence, made with a hook-laden structure and attempt to break rules lyrically and stylistically. I enjoyed the lyrics depicting a society of “judgmental fools; their boxes and their rules” which draws the listener to conversations surrounding upbringing, and defying one’s own culture. The drumming and guitar blend well and take a solo moment in the track at about 2:18 which is catchy and clean, and heavy enough to draw feelings. 

As a listener of punk, pop-punk and metal myself, I do take a liking to the band’s branding and message. Why I chose to review The Transits is a good reason as to why I urge bands to delve even deeper into their punk-like assets. Punk defies norms, defies trends and defies popularity. Personally, I believe music of today is very much based on image and exposure which makes it harder to gain fans if it fully defies mainstream culture. I applaud the band's message to its listeners, and in fact beg the band to produce more. The essence of punk is to not only re-defy, disenfranchise, but also to scare. When I hear a band pushing into that realm, I always encourage more unpolished sound, more aggression, and better yet… more darkness and charisma! Now that alternative music has no bounds and no rules, why not go darker with the lyrics? Go heavier? What was it about conservatism that led you to form a rock band? What was it about sporting culture in South Africa that made you sick to your stomach? Did it make you angry? How angry!? 

Why I want to hear more tracks from The Transits is the same reason I want to give any pop-punk band a go; show me your emotions and how hard life got for you when you defied popular culture and searched for individualism. I think the potential this band has lies in their courage to delve further into that world. Stand in the darkness with us mere mortals, but also give us more of a voice... The darkness can be fun, not only creating resonance but also changing judgmental mindsets time and time again. It follows structure, and you can hear that they’ve been playing for a while (the trio formed 30 years ago to be exact). My two cents is that I’d love to hear more crunch, more “grrr”, more fed-up sarcasm… if you dare! The more songs that give essence to the chaotic world we live in, the better. I wonder if The Transits will take my feedback towards their next album perhaps... mess with the hooks, mess with the structure, get bassier, and in general keep producing sounds for the black sheep. I know if it needs to hit the radio, it might not be the heaviness we crave. However, while we’re “sticking it to the man”, we might as well tell him how mad we got in the process.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About The Transits

Not many of us get a shot, years later, at correcting the past, of rediscovering the dreams of our teenage youth, back in the company of the very same people that made it special way back when – your friends, colleagues, creatives, like-mindeds, the people that know you best.

But this is what’s happened to the members of reborn New Zealand-via-South Africa punk-rock outfit, The Transits. 30 years after the formation of their teenage first band – after divergent musical journeys comprising live, chart and radio success - they’ve gone back to the future like Marty McFly and gotten the band back together, man. But first, let’s rewind.

Just as grunge was taking over the world in the early-90's, high school teenagers Dom Antelme (vocals, bass), Ryan Lunn (vocals, guitars, synths) and Tyrone Smith (drums) formed their first originals band, Cabbage, in Durban, South Africa.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Transits


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