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R&B Transmogrification

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Album Review

For a two-piece band, Quasi sure does make a lot of noise. Their second CD, R&B Transmogrification, is filled with indie-pop gems buried under layers of textured sound, bringing to mind the best work of Up labelmates Built to Spill. Sam Coomes' nasal vocals, also reminiscent of Built to Spill's Doug Marsch, are often plaintive, but never dull. Using a heavily distorted "Rocksichord" — an electronic keyboard invented to approximate the sound of a harpsichord — as its central instrument, R&B Transmogrification combines a retro feel with a healthy helping of grunge, sort of the Doors meets Pavement. Best of all are the songs, which include "Ballad of Mechanical Man" (which uses the lyrics "soon we'll all be dead" as its creepy, catchy hook) and "Birds Eyes View" (written by drummer Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney), which recalls the work of the Magnetic Fields and Brian Eno.

Customer Reviews


If you are going to buy any Quasi album make it this one.


Like every other band, Quasi's first album is their rawest, most groundbreaking, and best. Their creaky Moog provides the perfect backdrop for this masterpiece on the subject of death and despair. R&B Transmogrification is eerily beautiful all the way through, as well as a must-have for rainy, sh**ty days.


Formed: 1993 in Portland, OR

Genre: Alternative

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

Portland, Oregon-based indie pop duo Quasi teamed singer/guitarist/keyboardist Sam Coomes and drummer Janet Weiss, who not only previously joined forces in the band Motorgoat but also married and divorced. After a 1993 split single with Bugskull, little was heard from Quasi until 1996, when the duo issued the Early Recordings collection. In 1997, Weiss joined Sleater-Kinney for their classic Dig Me Out album, but she also continued collaborating with Coomes, and that same year saw the release of...
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R&B Transmogrification, Quasi
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