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Surrender to the Night

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Album Review

Trans Am prove in one mildly amusing, backward-turned sitting that much of what defines "post-rock" sounds suspiciously like rock's longtime nemesis, the late-'70s pre-techno Euro-pop of Kraftwerk and New Order. With much of this record a simple meditation on the latter, Surrender to the Night is surprisingly slim on new ideas, sounding for the most part either like a self-defacing gambit or an updater course for those who missed it the first time around. The group is at its best when they stumble onto the occasional square foot of new territory (as on "Cologne," "Tough Love," and the title cut, all of which wed live, more immediately rock-based instrumentation with electro-funk rhythms and synth figures), but much of Surrender lays on familiar, by now somewhat fallow soil.


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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Surrender to the Night, Trans Am
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