Tranzmitors - Tranzmitors (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Tranzmitors (2007)


I'm standing on the platform for the westbound train after work and it's one of those days where I feel like throwing myself in front of it. Soon however, I start to worry about the mental state of the driver that would hit me and then I start to worry what if I didn't die and instead ended up just being in a lot of pain and then I start to wonder about who exactly would have the morose job of cleaning up my corpse? I start to look around at the other commuters because of the morbid thoughts I had just been indulging and become aware that I'm oozing with nervousness. Pretty grim stuff if you ask me, almost as grim as the fact the New Town Animals broke up after the release of just one album. Thankfully for you and the other wage slaves I travel with, ex-members of said band have teamed up with other Vancouverians to form Tranzmitors. They use nervous energy too on their debut LP but for something far more productive -- shaking ass and taking names.

Classy power-pop is the name of the game here folks, rife with keyboards, British vocal inflection, sugary backup vocals and claps. Most importantly though it is all done extremely well. Take for instance the backups of "do-do-do I" on "Do I Really Wanna Know?"; they bounce around from speaker to speaker ‘til the question is fully asked. You can just picture the suit-clad lads quizzically popping up from behind trees and mailboxes exclaiming their "do"s as you walk down the street. The keyboards aren't just an extra layer of noise either, as they show a great deal of presence and versatility moving from xylophonesque pings ("Plastic Genocide") to more synthetic sounds to soulful organ in a single tune ("Beating Up My Heart").

The guys cover all sorts of subject matter, from your girlfriend cheating on you with all your friends in the aforementioned "Beating Up My Heart" (oh no!), to creepy old guys that never grow up in "Teen Man"; they even seemingly resurrect the dead pop form of the response record, in "Why Don't Boys Cry?" (I don't know for sure if it is a response to the Cure, but these seem like the sort of chaps that would know the song and would be familiar with response records; check ‘No Scrubs" and "No Pigeons" for more on the subject).

One thing's for sure after you hear these lovingly crafted pop gems: You're more likely to put on a choo-choo-train hat and grab your closest friends to sing along with you rather than jump in front of a subway car. This humble reviewer is going to go out on a bird's nest, on some twigs, on a limb and say this is the finest power-pop LP he's heard since Guitar Romantic. Call me sensational, call me the evening news and the morning paper, but if you like stuff like the Boys and the Pointed Sticks, pick this up posthaste.