Trans Am: Liberation
Liberation is aimed squarely at the Bush administration and like the bombs not yet detonated that are now spread all over Iraq, there are some definite missed targets here. In these times of speech writers and buzz words like 'democracy' and 'morals', why cut and paste the speeches of George Bush? They're just as pathetic and unbelievable without being cut up and re-organized. One non-cue card statement by the most powerful man on the earth is just as scary as the cut and paste version: "Our commitment to weapons of mass destruction is America's tradition." That said, there is some greatness to this album.
'Outmoder' hints at early Rage Against the Machine without the screaming maniacal lyrics of Zach de la Rocha. 'Idea Machine' is heavy hitting and 'Pretty Close to the Edge' is a great song. Its 5 minutes of repeating guitar notes overlapped with drums and a wavey synth beat, creating a nice build up, culminating into a quick stop lo-fi basic keyboard beat to end the song. The drumming on 'Divine Invasion' is hella-hot-shit, but it doesn't last long to get the revolution started. It dies right before I get to the closet to get my spray paint out; after the drumming is 3 minutes that hint at Tangerine Dream, but Tangerine Dream's no band to start a revolution with.
As a whole, this album is a pretty strong. Its not ground-breaking and its not sending me into the streets with a protest sign or molotov cocktails flying, but it made me bop my head pretty good. In these 'dark days of war,' we need the likes of Trans Am to get us through the hard times.
It's safe to say that music needs a real political force soon. Sure, Bono hangs out with Kofi Annan, but we need a real Pete Seeger meets Woody Guthrie to get shit rolling and besides, Bono's a bit of a pussy anyways. Trans Am goes the whole hog here (vocal samples, helicopter noises), but the problem with this album is that it doesn't flow; it doesn't have the shock and awe quality that it is trying to criticize. Liberation is more like the Russian Army of the 70s that had lots of potential, but just missed a couple notes and couldn't pull off the big one.