Review Request for: Trans Am - Liberation [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-12-2004, 08:31 AM
Been hearing a pretty cool track from this new CD called Total Information. It rocks pretty hard, low and heavy, and reminds me of Gary Numan. Can anybody post a review of the entire CD? Pitchfork liked it, AMG did not.


BTW, I tried to search on the name already, but this function is acting goofy again.

Dusty Chalk
03-12-2004, 04:49 PM
I love it. I think it's the best thing they've done since Futureworld. Sure, some of the tracks sound like filler, but if you've seen them in concert, it's a lot easier to understand.

For those who aren't familiar with them, these three guys are a very eclectic group. They play whatever the L they want. Sometimes it's practically tribute/homage to Kraftquirky synthpop, sometimes, it's rock'n'roll "power trio" with guitars, bass, and drums. And yet they manage to do this without raising the "New Order" flag. Lots of instrumental workouts. They have that half-way point between indie raw grit and produced sheen that just seems to appeal to both camps (within me, anyway), similar to GvsB, but without that sunglasses cool swagger (they're still cool, but it's more sheer charisma than earthiness -- think people who dress in all white [Trans Am] vs. people who dress in all black [GvsB]).

The filler -- there's a couple tracks, two in particular, that might have been able to be relegated to B-sides. One, in which speeches by Dubya are manipulated to make him say things he hasn't said (these guys are obviously anti-war), and another wherein they pitch-shift a weather report. In the latter, instead of trying to discern what the speaker is saying, it ends up becoming "atmosphere"; in the former, the collage/pastiche/whatever is academically interesting and worth hearing once or twice (reminds me of Tones on Tail for some reason, perhaps some Laurie Anderson, or one of those 70's records where an interviewer asks questions and is answered with song snippets ["Mr. Jaws" anyone?]), but definitely belabors the point upon repeated listenings. Think Christian rock. Just way to soap-boxy/evangelistic. Fortunately, the music underneath is tres cool, otherwise it would be unlistenable.

It's funny you should ask, I just posted a link in another thread saying how on Metacritic (, it seems to have just about the most diverse set of reviews ever. Anywhere from a 30 to a 90. Actually, Kylie's Body Language has a pretty diverse set of reviews, too. I love that line "pop's Thumbelina".

03-13-2004, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful review DC. I may pick this up, but now wondering if I should start with Futureworld instead.

So much music, so little time (& $$$)

Dusty Chalk
03-13-2004, 02:42 PM
Well, Liberation is available at for as little as US$6.49, and Futureworld for US$8, so you make the decision. I don't know which side of them you appreciate more, the synthpoppy stuff, or the guitarsy stuff, but IIRC, Futureworld is definitely more of the synthpoppy stuff. Liberation was a Goldilocks* mix, sort of like Power Corruption & Lies.

Linky schminky (

* "...This one has too much synthpop...this one has too little synthpop...this one is juuuuust riiiiiiiiight..."