V119 - TRANS AM's Thing
Most bands are too afraid to step up to the bat. They are scared that life is going to
throw them different kinds of curve balls. But for more than fifteen years, Trans Am
has fearlessly stepped up, taken their swings and thrown a few curve balls of their own.
Few bands can say theyve toured the Canadian mountains with TOOL, and fewer still
can they played their first tour opening for Tortoise. Trans Am a-la 2010 is a band of
veterans unafraid to contradict themselves, confident in their identity even as
confounding as that identity has been for their fans over the years.
Thing is a wreckage of sorts.
The project was originally commissioned as a sci-fi, horror adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. When funding for that project fell apart, Trans Am forged on with their own album. To capture the feeling of exhaustion and paranoia demanded by Thing, Trans Am remained at their recording studio until the early morning, occasionally exiting to run up and down the hills of San Francisco. All vocals were recorded during recovery from these sessions. Thing features songs written entirely by the individual band members, as well as more collaborative efforts. Tracks were composed and/or recorded in Pescara, Italy; Portland, Oregon; Leon, France; San Francisco, California; Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean; London, England; Death Valley, California. The three members of the band currently reside in Portland, San Francisco and Washington, DC. For half of the tracks on Thing, Trans Am utilized a recording/composition strategy known as Zombification. Once a song was recorded, each of the band members (as well as anybody else in the studio at the time) would record multiple additional tracks without any reference to the previous ones. The song then forgot itself - and was almost unlistenable. After cellaring the un-dead music for up to a year, Trans Am would begin to peel back the layers of the song, usually arriving at something completely different.Thing was recorded between May 2008 and November of 2009, but the ongoing economic crisis did not affect the albums lavish production budget.
Thing represents a further attempt by the band to further remove themselves not just from various indie-rock labels, but music itself. One of Things requirements was that each track contain a completely non-musical element, preferably something with a sonic signature that was not even necessarily a sound.
With such history behind them, eight albums and last years live double LP and DVD What
Day is it Tonight?, Trans Ams record speaks for itself. This new album does not attempt to redefine the bands image or return to any previous form, but
simply to speak for itself, a single palpable, particular... Thing...
Trans Am is a three-piece band which originated in Bethesda, Maryland that was one of the originators of "post-rock" in the mid 90s. Their work centers on a cerebrally robotic, usually instrumental, semi-danceable, minimalistic format, with influences including Krautrock, heavy metal, hardcore punk, synthpop, electronic music, and folk music. They are known for constant touring (with bands such as Tortoise, Pan Sonic, The Fucking Champs, and Tool), cryptic album artwork, and continual thematic re-invention.