Fucking Am Gold

After 2001’s collaborative Double Exposure by the Trans Champs, the Fucking Am were destined to be. Starring the Fucking Champs multi-instrumentalists Tim Green and Tim Soete, Trans Am members Nathan Means, Sebastian Thompson, and Phil Manley, the collective enlisted the Mars Volta/Royal Trux drummer Jon Theodore for the group’s first release under this new moniker. Stretching the boundaries between prog rock and thrash metal, "Bad Leg” is more on the Champs slant of Yes-meets-Exodus, while "The Gauntlet” is like Alice In Chains played by Chromelodeon. "Doing Research For An Autobiography” is more upbeat, Steve Howe-ish solo material, and "Taking Liberties” harks back to Rush’s first album with gutsy female vocals like Janis Joplin. "Powerpoint” plays like Robert Fripp fronting the Rollins Band. The "Gomez” trilogy that ends the album is a hodgepodge of all influences: "Acoustico” resembles the quieter moments from the Champs’ IV album; "Elastico” seems like Jefferson Airplane covering Rush’s 2112; and "Electrico” sounds like the Allman Brothers Band aping King Crimson. Indie rock for metalheads, Gold is intellectual and immediately satisfying. (Drag City)