Music » Hit & Run Reviews

Sex Change

Trans Am

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The Deal: Electro-funk-IDM-Krautrock-metal from shape-shifting trio Trans Am

The Good: Ever wondered what it might be like tooling down the Autobahn at full-throttle listening to a George Clinton-Neu!-Mastodon mash-up? Wonder no more. On Sex Change, these long-running sonic alchemists leave behind the paranoid-robot music of 2004's Liberation, toggling with ease between more familiar synth pop and raging guitar epics fired by atom-splitting energy. "Conspiracy of the Gods," "Shining Path" and "Triangular Pyramid" rush through like rock hurricanes: Racing guitars and synthesizer squalls propelled forward by the inhuman pace of Sebastian Thompson's drum turbine. Oxygen, please!

Thankfully, there are well-placed reprieves -- funkier pieces that mix video game synth noise and Eno washes with Can-like bass-and-beats surges. "North East Rising Sun" is a classic Trans Am nod to 70s Krautrock; insistent pulse for an impossibly catchy and multi-textured melody. "Obscene Strategies" and "Climbing Up the Ladder (Parts III and IV)" sound like the happy robot children of Gary Numan and Funkadelic.

The Bad: If you take heart medication, consult your physician before listening. One or two songs include lyrics, which is just incongruous enough to seem utterly pointless. And after ingesting the audio equivalent of 11 processed cheese slices, some of you will be reaching for a suitably organic, Nick Drake-like acoustic palate-cleanser.

The Verdict: Feeling adventurous? Buy it. Need to work out some aggression? Buy it. Tired of 75-mile an hour speed limits? Buy, buy, buy. Feel like chillin' out? Not here you don't.

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