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Transport League | Grand Amputation | review | rock | Lollipop

Transport League

Grand Amputation (Crash)
by Brian Varney

I was pleasantly surprised at this CD's arrival since I'd assumed Transport League long gone. 1998's Superevil, one of the earliest releases on stoner/metal label The Music Cartel, was a wonderful amalgamation of the best of those two genres, brutal ka-chunk ka-chunk metal riffing and clean, precisely barked vocals bolted down with a tremendously swinging rhythm section, the resulting witches' brew sounding something like metal guitarists playing with the Stax house band. 2000's underrated and underheard follow-up, Satanic Panic, fell to nothingness without so much as a cry for help, so I figured I'd heard the last of the League.

Considering the band's twin impulses (metal and groove), it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that Grand Amputation (a seven-song, 21-minute teaser EP for an upcoming full-length) has more than a bit of the astringent flavor of nü metal. The wife, also a big Superevil fan, wrinkled her nose when I had this cranked just now, and I could tell before she even spoke that when she did, it would be lamenting the coming of the nü. I don't know much nü metal, really, but what I've heard I haven't liked. However, Grand Amputation sounds just fine to me and, really, not that different from the band's previous releases. There's no rapping or anything of the sort here, and even though the alternating of clean, quiet parts and distorted louder ones on "Slack, Wrist, Smack" is sorta ho-hum, it reminds me of Clutch as much as, say, System of a Down. So I don't really see nü metal as the sole face of the enemy here, assuming there is an enemy lurking in these plastic grooves. Superevil it ain't, but I can honestly say that I can't find a single thing to hate on Grand Amputation, which is much more than I can say for most of the stuff that darkens my towels these days.
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