Trans Am

Trans Am

Trans Am

Sex Change

Thrill Jockey Records

Trans Am has been crafting synth-and-drum obsessed albums since the early ’90s. And like everything great to come out of the ’90s, there is a bit of self-conscience irony in their sound, like they know full well that they are channeling every pop group since the Beach Boys. And that’s cool. But like a John Barth novel, their postmodern experiments just aren’t completely pleasing in a superficial way. They take time. And Trans Am’s latest Sex Change is no different; after a couple plays, this album just leaves me saying “I don’t know.”

Like all things postmodern, you must understand the larger picture to be in on the joke. Apparently, Trans Am’s previous album Liberation was more politically charged than any of their previous material. Basically, they were fed up with the W and his lackeys (or is it the other way around?) and decided to express their frustration in their music, an activity that was very popular in a previous era known as the “’60s.” And like almost everyone else in America, the recent political climate had finally taken its toll. So the trio parted ways for two years, finally regrouping in Australia to jam on some else’s synthisizers, drums and guitars. The result is Sex Change.

Hey wait a minute; That’s it! You know what this album is like? Its like in the movies when an obvious underdog like Rocky or the Mighty Ducks practice really hard and the music is dramatic and energizing, and then after only three minutes, they are way better and ready to kick ass. That’s exactly what this album is: 2007’s totally self-aware musical interlude. No matter how Phillip K. Dick-ian our world becomes, Trans Am believes all any of us ever really needs is a musical interlude, a time to learn how to kick ass. And Sex Change may be that album… or you could just rock out to !!!’s latest instead.

Thrill Jockey: www.thrilljockey.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland
    Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam
    Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall
    Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives