Trans Am Liberation

It had to happen some day. Washington, DC’s electro-tinged post-punk darlings have really dropped the mirrored ball on Liberation, their eighth full-length release. After taking a sharp right turn into ’80s cheese rock nostalgia with 2002’s wildly underrated and widely misunderstood TA, the tongue-in-cheek trio have continued on in a similar vein and recorded an album that is no longer just posturing as bad music, but is actually bad music. Besides an almost serious attempt at being politically minded on the standout novelty track "Uninvited Guest” (which features seamlessly cut-up and reassembled self-deprecatory quotes of George Bush), Liberation fails by aimlessly drifting into a mishmash of territory previously travelled — the exploratory realms of Red Line and binary lands of Futureworld — but with bland and lacklustre results. Rumour has it that this is Trans Am’s last album, but to see a great band throw in the towel on such a bum note would be criminal. Chances are these witty dudes have already planned to re-emerge in two years time with a triumphant reunion. (Thrill Jockey)