Records - Trans AM (3 stars)

Trans AM

Sex Change (Thrill Jockey)


There’s a feeling that you’re missing out on the joke with bands like Trans Am. What with the faux boy band press shots and the musical appropriation of everything from Rush to Harold Faltemeyer, it all seems a bit too clever-clever for its own good. In truth, there is no joke, if you like Kraftwerk fed through a Pil-shaped mincer then this is the gag in the cracker that is pulled as several of your Christmases comes at once.

Sex Change is not the Chicagoan trio’s finest but is eminently listenable. Building and bubbling along with elbows out; driven by motorik, melodic synth parts and insistent drum batteries before exploding in a ball of electricity on the final three tracks, one of which is called ‘Tesco Vs Sainsbury’s’ for no obvious reason. It may not be as cohesive or contrived as previous efforts but Sex Change is much more a Scalextric set under the tree than a pair of socks.

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