This is one that slipped through the gaps. Transplants were a Rancid/Blink 182 cross over hip hop influenced side project in 2002. They made one brilliant record which yielded a couple of massive hit singles, and then the whole world pretended it never happened.
Diamonds and Guns is the natural heir to Walk This Way, Big Audio Dynamite, Anthrax and Public Enemy, Faith No More and Rage Against The Machine.
A cool piano loop and a down stroke SKA riff punctuate the ‘lyrical stylings’ of Skinhead Rob and Tim Armstrong. Travis Barker playing drums like the world class showman he is (which makes you wonder why his day job is plodding away behind light weight pop punk) adds some seriously addictive groove.
Given that it seems to be about blood diamonds, drug addiction and all the underbelly of Los Angeles, what’s quite incredible is the happy nodding it alchemises from deep in the psyche of the average alternative music fan.
Dig this song out at any kind of gathering of tribes and put it on. You’ll see it getting heads bopping, you’ll see conversations start up about ‘Do you remember this?’ and you see grins from the bar to the mosh pit.
“2002 Baby Transplants!”