Sunday, December 2, 2018

Review of Transcend All Negative Energy's "Transcend All Negative Energy"

I posted this review a short while ago on the Sputnik Music website:

Review Summary: Psychedelic-tinged alternative rock from Southern California.

Transcend All Negative Energy is a 3-piece band from Lake Forest, California. According to their bio, they started out in 2014 as a garage rock band with metal and funk influences. Nowadays, they describe themselves as more about psychedelic rock, with influences that include Radiohead, Tame Impala, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Phantogram, among others. On this, their debut LP, I'd describe their sound as more alt. rock with a dash of psychedelic.

Transcend All Negative Energy has a pleasant overall vibe to it -- the music is a little dreamy. I notice that on this LP, as well as on their 2017 EP Chiaroscuro, the album art contains a lot of purple, and this seems appropriate -- the music somehow sounds purple. (And in fact, the second song on the album, which is one of the best, is entitled "Purple Smoke"). There are a lot of keyboards and/or synthesizers, the drums are occasionally electronic (and there seems to be an occasional use of drum machines), and the pace is usually slow- to mid-tempo. There are also a few short instrumental tracks to help keep the laid-back mood going. Even though it's not as pop oriented as a lot of his music, I think it's the kind of thing that would make Syd Barrett smile if he was alive today.

My favorite tracks, in addition to "Purple Smoke", are "Chill Society" which features a chunky, circular underlying synth pattern (and seems lyrically obsessed with calling the cops), and "Suicidal Saturday", the album's opening number, which seems a little dark for a band with a name like Transcend All Negative Energy. But then again, I guess there has to be some negative energy there in the first place in order for you to transcend it. So I guess the song fits after all.

Overall, I liked this album, enough so that I'll definitely go back an check out some of this band's earlier work. Transcend All Negative Energy gave me a clear sense that these guys are really in it for the love of the music. I look forward to their next project.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars