transamLP

Trans Am return with album umpteen of space-inflected bleepy math-rock, which has plenty of seriously impressive displays of musicianship but also a sense of staleness that perhaps belies the fact that the album took nearly two years to make. When it clicks though, ‘Thing’ really comes to life. ‘Heaven’s Gate’ spends four minutes in mesmerising Spiritualized-esque spacerockfreejazzmetal territory before exiting ecstatically into pounding bass and drums for a triumphant, Teutonic final 90 seconds. Equally, ‘Interstellar Drift’’s constant but imperceptibly shifting time signatures are strangely captivating – it’s the freshest-sounding piece on the record. However, tracks like ‘Arcadia’ and ‘Apparent Horizon’ feel reluctantly written and performed, slopping along like the soundtrack to a bad noughties computer game, and there are too many songs of their ilk on ‘Thing’ for it ever to be anything more than a musical curio.

By Sam Walton

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