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Trans Am: Thing 

Thrill Jockey

Perpetual half-jokesters Trans Am have returned with their ninth full-length, the madly triumphant Thing. The group's recording career has spanned 15 years and just as many stylistic leaps. Most bands are not as able or willing to explore music as Trans Am is, bouncing from this genre to that with wild abandon. Or, at least, most bands can't do so with such consistent success. Thing boasts a dominating presence – after the fake-out ambience of "Please Wait" comes a mechanized, unrelenting freak-out that lasts until the album's end. "Bad Vibes" delivers on its name – sinister and scary. "Heaven's Gate" is a feral psych explosion that Acid Mothers Temple would envy. "Arcadia" is funky dance music for androids. That Trans Am continues to impress and progress this far along in its career speaks volumes to its power as a singular, unflinching unit. With Thing, the group continues to make music for itself. The bonus is that we can dig it, too. 4 out of 5 stars.

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