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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Tranzfusion
Lotus
self-released

Rating: 8/10 ?


March 18, 2008
Tranzfusion is the sound of what happens when a veteran band gets behind a newbie's modern indie rock sensibilities. The arrival of Josh Davis brings the stylings of a Peter Moren (of Peter Bjorn and John) type to a band once content with middle-aged mediocrity. That's not a dig on them; not too long ago Tranzfusion were a Salisbury, Maryland band playing covers, waiting for a big break with their own sound.

Josh Davis' songs either churn, chug along, or steadily build until they overflow. They match all tempos of classic indie bands like Sebadoh and R.E.M., even if their influences are all across the board. They remind me of another age-defying band, The Wrens, in large part because the vocals on Lotus are remarkably reminiscent of Charles Bissell's.

There are obvious influences to the sound found in Lotus, like the Beatles ("Stage Toys") and The Replacements ("Till You're Unknown"), and some not so obvious ones, like Steve Albini ("Lotus"). What's most apparent about Tranzfusion is that their localized flair takes nothing away from them as a band. In fact, the lo-fi production and track doubling on vocals gives them a throwback style very few bands today, to their own loss, seem interested in replicating.

As a case in point, Bob Davis' keyboards are often prominent, not to mention integral to the band's sound, but are strictly minimal in sheer force. Accordingly, Tranzfusion wouldn't dare get in the ring with a band like the Arcade Fire or expect to produce an album like Neon Bible, but they still create compositions that utilize their every element, which is ultimately what every band should strive for.

In my mind "It Takes the Thrill" exhibits the songwriting, playing, and production of peak Tranzfusion. The melody steadily rides on the crest of Davis' keys, and as a whole the cut is a somber composition that journeys very little, as they lyrics suggest: "I've been the same for so long/ I've spent the days below harm." As the song appears to end, however, uncompromising guitar riffs cut in and Hank Koenig takes listeners on a jaunt reminiscent of Wilco's "At Least That's What You Said."

For a band today to attempt this catch-as-catch-can approach and still come off as legit is somewhat of a rarity. This is the very reason why indie rock (as we properly know it) has been wasting away on its deathbed since the 1990s. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Tranzfusion have marked their parcel of ground and set about breathing some life into a lost art form, or at the very least reminding us that there's this essential meaning of the term "indie" that somehow got lost along the way.

Reviewed by Patrick Gill
In in a state of suspended adolescence, Patrick Gill can be found hiding away in northwest Ohio, where he spends most of his time rediscovering shoegaze, noise pop, britpop, slowcore, sadcore, lo-fi, neo-psychedelia, post-rock, trad rock, and trip-hop music. In his spare time he teaches college English.

See other reviews by Patrick Gill

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