Joyride isn’t necessarily a return to form, but certainly the men behind Transit have returned to a point where they’re more focused and seem to actually enjoy the music they’re making. Unlike Young New England, Joyride isn’t suffocated by the band members own apathy, nor does it try too hard to be “artistic” and/or “mature”.
Songs range from bouncy, happy-go-lucky tracks about youthful antics, sex, alcohol and lost love, to the sombre closer “Follow Me” which may just be the most emotionally gripping and sincere song Transit have ever made. Joyride is Transit doing what they do best; enjoyable 3-4 minute songs with catchy melodies and underlying themes of growing up and looking back, there’s no overindulgence and it finally feels as though the band has gotten over their desire to one-up Listen & Forgive.
Despite Tim Landers departure the overall sound hasn’t changed that much, backing vocals are obviously less prominent than in previous releases and Torre Cioffi manages quite well with his new found role as both lead and rhythm guitarist, his backing vocals mightn’t stand out but they don’t detract from the song either. For the most part the band is entirely on point; Joe Boynton’s vocals have returned to form, there’s a strength to voice that had been somewhat lacking as of late, the rhythm section also remains the capable backbone they’ve been known as since Keep This To Yourself, they don’t look to venture into new territory but they don’t really need to when the music is this good.
When it comes down to it Joyride is the kind of album Transit should be making; there are no ham-handed overtly “deep” lyrics, there’s a sense of enjoyment and just general fun that was sorely lacking on its predecessor and the passion within is the music is almost tangible. Joyride is, for all intents and purposes, exactly what it advertises; an embrace of the essence of life, good times with good friends, memories of the past, peaks and valleys and of course the lingering feeling at the back of your mind that eventually it’s all going to be gone one day. Transit deserve all the praise in the world for not only defying the odds stacked against them but for making one of the best pop-punk albums of the year.