Album Review

Travis Barker "Give the Drummer Some"

Aaron George
I have a theory, based in large part on personal experience, that all drummers secretly wish that they were the center of attention. I don’t have time to get into specifics of my theory, but I feel that Travis Barkers album Give the Drummer Some confirms my suspicion. The thing about Barker, however, is that he is probably the most popular drummer alive today, and possibly one of the most skilled, so in a way it’s nothing all that shocking that he wants people to pay attention.

For Give the Drummer Some the age old but usually misguided formula of “Cram as many big names in as you can and hope that makes it good” seems to have been followed devoutly. Barker himself is responsible for all of the music on the disc (impressive) but the lyrics are written by any of the radio stars singing them. Were it not for these huge names in music, mostly hip hop, this album would have no reason to be seen as anything other than spare time efforts, but since Barker is famous and has connections, we get this album to chew on.

There are some decent sounds to be heard from this lot of songs. There is for example Busta Rhymes and his buzz roll speed delivery, and of course the drumming is fantastic. Barkers drumming has always been phenomenal (though if you really want to hear him open up listen to the Boxcar Racer album) and on Give the drummer it is pretty clear that he is having fun. Also, kudos to Barker for getting Pushead to design the cover. Is that enough to make a good album? Probably not, if anything what we have here is a case of audio self gratification, which begs the question of what “the drummer” is trying to be given...possibly a tissue.

P.S. Tim Armstrong, your performance on this album hurts.