Travis Barker

Give The Drummer Some

Written by: PP on 19/04/2011 06:40:08

Most people know Travis Barker as the drummer of Blink 182, but few people are aware that he has quietly been working on a solo album called "Give The Drummer Some", which sees the pop punker stray far outside his usual comfort zone to focus on his personal passions: electronics, hip hop, and of course drumming. Aside from being phenomenal in the latter trade, he has apparently also developed into a multi-instrumentalist; he plays guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, and piano aside from providing inventive drum textures on the album, and has reportedly composed the lines for all the pieces as well. Impressive.

What's less impressive from a rock fan's perspective, however, is his chosen direction. "Give The Drummer Some" is a weird combination of rap, hip hop and electronics with hefty guitar distortion in a manner that reeks of Insane Clown Posse-style rap-rock from a decade ago. Okay, it's not quite as outrageous or awful as ICP, even by a long shot, but there's very little material on the record to appease the average rock fan (or Blink 182 fan for that matter). If on the other hand you don't mind hip hop, rap, R'n'B and electronics combining seamlessly with guitar distortion and Barker's signature drumming, there's a star-studded lineup awaiting who perform their duties exceptionally well. Or so I'm told by someone who knows a great deal more about hip hop and mainstream music than I do.

Each song has between one and three guest artists each contributing significant portions. These range from the likes of Lil Wayne and Lupe Fiasco to Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Twista, Tech N9ne and Cypress Hill on the rap side, and Transplants, Slash and Tom Morello on the rock side. And that list doesn't even cover all the stars appearing on the record. The vast majority of vocals are handled by the featuring artists (obviously Morello and Slash contribute instrumentally instead), each contributing their own, oftentimes unique style to the song, suggesting that they have worked closely with Barker on each song, in effect making "Give The Drummer Some" more of a compilation than a traditional solo album.

While I don't think it serves any purpose for me to sit here and condescend artists that are critically acclaimed in the hip hop scene, the truth is that "Give The Drummer Some" is, for the vast majority of its duration, an irrelevant album to an avid reader of, much in the same way as Necro's "Death Rap" had very little to do with death metal despite the aggressive marketing to convince the metal fans. So approach with caution, and know this: for hip hop fans this is excellent, and one of the few places where you'll find as many acclaimed names on a record that doesn't carry a Ruff Ryders tag. For fans of Box Car Racer, Blink 182 and other Travis Barker projects, and those who find the mere mention of rap-rock terrifying...move along.


Download: If You Want To (Feat Pharrell & Lupe Fiasco), Saturday Night
For the fans of: Necro's "Death Rap", electronics meet guitar and rap
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.03.2011
Interscope / Universal Records

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