By Patrick McAleer
While sitting here eating my Ginger Snaps from Sprouts and drinking my Pinot Grigio (don’t judge, rough day), I find myself listening to the first album I received to write a review about for Milehighgayguy. I received this album Velocity
about three weeks ago and it has taken me just as long to listen to it.
I was really hoping my first review would be this upbeat, positive review, talking about how awesome this album is and how everyone should listen to this new band. Unfortunately, I am struggling to make this review what I was hoping it to be and instead of fighting it, I am going to give in and be honest.
I didn't love it.
A little introduction about Transitshop from the press release:
"Philadelphia, PA-based trio Transitshop is set to release its debut album,
Velocity, on August 13, 2013 via Rock Ridge Music. The lushly epic alternative/indie-pop is an infectiously catchy hybrid of classic 1980s new wave transcendence and potent modern pop-punk dynamics. Through online networking, the band met Detroit-based producer Matt Dalton (Chiodos, I See Stars, These Hearts, Attila, For The Fallen Dreams, Stephen Christian), who helped streamline song arrangements and find otherworldly guitar tones.
Velocity was partly recorded with Dalton at 37 Studios in Detroit and at Thermal Productions in New Jersey with Stephen McKnight.”
Most importantly, let’s start with the vocals. As it states in the press release, “The shimmering guitars, richly longing vocals, and urgently powerful rhythms ... ” I would like to dissect the “richly longing vocals” phrase. These words make me think of someone with a buttery sound to their voice, that you just can’t help but sway back and forth to the music, that is not the case on this album. We live in an age of auto-tune, which I don’t always think is necessary, but in this situation, it is. The lead singer, Chris O’Brien, is an excellent guitarist, arranger, and composer, but singing is not his forte. I had a very hard time getting past that through the entire EP.
I know nobody likes a Negative Nancy, so I am going to end on a positive note, because we all need constructive criticism, instead of just criticism. I really enjoyed the instrumentation and arrangement of the album. Transitshop reminds me of Blink182, All-American Rejects, and Boys Hate Girls. Their sound has an upbeat feeling that you want to roll down the car windows and turn up the stereo. It’s fun and from what I could gather from the lyrics, they seem pretty legit and send a good message.
I think, after some voice lessons for O'Brien, Transitshop might have what it takes to make an impact on the indie-pop scene. Of course they will first have to fight to find their niche and what makes them special, but that is a battle that is familiar to all of us.