I first heard of Trans Am back in 1997/1998. I had just discovered Sunny Day Real Estate and my world was changed. A friend suggested that if I like SDRE, I should check out Trans Am.
So I did...
And to this day I still do not see any connection between SDRE and Trans Am. But I am thankful for that recommendation.
Most Trans Am albums have some amazing songs- driving bass, pounding drums, and a rhythmic hypnotic pulse that is great. Their instrumentation changes. It typically involves drums, synthesizers, bass, with guitars, electric percussion, and samples filling the void. For as many great songs on a Trans Am album, there are usually as many filler songs. Maybe I just don't appreciate the noise/electronic/sample ridden songs as much as others, but it is the harder songs that brought me to appreciate Trans Am in the first place. I saw them once at CMU probably back in 2000. It was a great show. So here are a bunch of albums that I have from them. They have a couple newer albums; TA- an album with an 80's glam cover, and an album where Trans Am combines with The F-ing Champs. Both of these albums I listed to while I was a DJ at WPTS, but never really got too psyched (in all honestly I never listened to each album in its entirety).
Trans Am (1996)
This was their first full length release on the Thrill Jockey label (as all of their following releases are). It has their drum/bass pulses with some righteous lead melodies reminiscent of 70's rock.
The Surveillance (1998)
This was actually the first Trans Am album I heard. There are some great tracks on this album. I believe it may be a concept album, but I never really got the concept...
This album has some fantastic songs- super driving, rhythmic, and with the addition of vocoder/synth vocals. This may be my favorite Trans Am album... "No future here in the future"
Red Line (2000)
This is a pretty diverse album. A mix of loud rhythms and soft quiet ambient instrumentals. I haven't listened to this album in a while, but thought I would put it up with the rest of my records.