But with its latest, TA, Trans Am revisits its own past, not so much improving as expanding on some of its sillier aspects. Gone are the growling atmospheric experiments, the dense, foreboding guitar soundscapes. Where Red Line couldn't make up its mind what it wanted to sound like -- a schizophrenia that was part of the appeal -- TA sets Trans Am's sights on the lite synth-pop first featured on Futureworld. But now it's more often sans Vocoder -- and sans irony.
With straight four-ward drums, less rampant and elastic bass and synths lacking menace, TA comes across as far too sincere. Occasional highlights "Afternight," "Infinite Wavelength" -- do exist, but with the idea of an electro-pop resurgence no longer futuristic and novel, Trans Am needs to go back to setting its sights on subversion.
Trans Am plays The Earl Sat., May 18.