San Diego indie rockers the Transit War are a melodic post-hardcore quartet that isn't whiny or self-involved enough to be considered emo, nor sufficiently enamored of technique over songwriting to appeal to the post-rock chops fetishists.
A bit more aggressive and less poppy than either the Weakerthans
or Modest Mouse
, the Transit War are nonetheless part of that end of the present-day indie rock scene, favoring low-key but intricate melodies and tight, occasionally jittery rhythms. An early lineup of the band first formed in 2001, but by the time the Transit War released a self-titled D.I.Y. demo EP the following year, the first stable lineup of the group had coalesced around lead singer and guitarist Jim Hughes and bassist Mike Frey, adding lead guitarist Anthony Levas and drummer Bernie Tiano. However, by the time the Transit War began recording with producer Joe Marlett (who had previously worked with blink-182
and Queens of the Stone Age
, as well as smaller bands like Relient K
and Fenix TX
) in 2004, Levas and Tiano had been replaced by guitarist Jaime Solis and drummer Brad Bohensky; this lineup released their debut album ¡Ah Discordia! on the tiny indie Harbor Records in early 2005. A video for the album's standout track "Kerosene" received extensive airplay on MTV's collegiate digital cable network MTVu, raising the Transit War's profile enough to sign with the Orange Peal label, which reissued ¡Ah Discordia! in early 2006. The Transit War's second album, Miss Your Face, was released in the fall of 2006, preceded by the first single "Sheep In Your Head." ~ Stewart Mason