Review: Travis Barker, Give The Drummer Some

It doesn’t happen very often, but ‘Give The Drummer Some’ is a solo album by a drummer. This drummer is Travis Barker; known widely for his involvement in various bands including The Aquabats, Blink-182, Box Car Racer, Transplants, +44 and more recently his collaborations with hip-hop artists. He has built up a lot of interest in the hip-hop community for his work on re-mixing tracks that artists wanted “rocked-up”.

This album is heavy on hip-hop with featured artists including RZA, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, Ludacris and Snoop Dogg amongst many others. For the most part the tracks on this album are of a slower tempo so as to show off his skills as one of the most sought after session drummers on the circuit.

The best of these tracks are ‘If U Want To’ featuring Pharrell Williams and Lupe Fiasco for its old school vibe and crazy drum fills, ‘Let’s Go’ with Yelawolf, Busta Rhymes, Game and Lil Jon for its exceptional lyrical turns especially between Busta and Twista who truly are the fastest rappers around and ‘Beat Goes On’ featuring Cypress Hill which has a heavy funk bass line and a hard rock guitar riff harking back to Cypress Hill’s ‘Rock Superstar’.

Punk and rock fans might feel a little let down by an album by a performer best known for his roles in one of the biggest pop punk bands of the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Even the track featuring Transplants and Slash, ‘Saturday Night’, is a slow-paced affair that may as well not have Slash’s name on it. But if you opt for the slightly more expensive deluxe edition you get 4 extra bonus tracks including ‘On My Own’ which is led by Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour fame. This is a little more like you would expect from Travis’ past projects; a quick, loud and aggressive song. The final track on this edition is ‘Misfits’ and is a collaboration with electro producer Steve Aoki. It is a blistering techno-hardcore assault on the ears and the most interesting song on the album, reminiscent of Mad Capsule Markets’ genre crossing style.

If you’re looking for material akin to blink-182 wait for the next release from them which is rumoured to come out later this year, Travis didn’t want to have the first Blink song in 8 years on this album. There has been some negative criticism, mainly from “closed minded” people who can’t get over the fact that he has started playing with rappers and in a recent interview he branded these people “Nazi bastards”, which goes to show how much of his love and devotion went into the project.

In short this is a ridiculously well produced album designed to show off the talents of one of the best drummers on the planet right now, but not if you don’t enjoy a bit of hip-hop.

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