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Album Review

Trans Am's 1999 release, Futureworld, showcases the band's love of retro-futurism and above all, rock. Songs like "Television Eyes" and "City in Flames" feature a churning mix of drums, guitars, and budget keyboards, giving the lie to Trans Am's "post-rock" label. More than anything, Futureworld is drummer Sebastian Thomson's album — his work on acoustic, electric, and programmed drums propels the music, particularly on the Teutonic "AM Rhein." As the album progresses, however, it becomes increasingly melodic and keyboard-driven, as the relatively gentle "Runners Standing Still" and "Sad and Young" attest. Throw in the poppy title track and "Cocaine Computer"'s sleazy, uptight disco, and the result is Futureworld, Trans Am's most diverse and accomplished work yet.


Formed: 1990 in Washington DC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Trans Am are loosely associated with the mid-'90s post-rock scene centered around Tortoise, Ui, Labradford, Windy & Carl, etc., and the Thrill Jockey, Kranky, UHF, and Southern labels, among others. Although a vast distance separates Trans Am's albums, all of them are concerned with an extreme, somewhat humorous reorientation of the clichés and conventions of rock music, primarily through either technical (exaggerated displays of skill) or instrumental (electronics, effects) deviation. Formed in...
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Futureworld, Trans Am
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