Liberation, the most recent album by DC's Trans Am, seemed to be lacking a bit of the fun that seemed to be par for the course. They were intent on making a political album, and when you make political music, you run the risk of coming off as terribly, terribly humorless. Such was the case with Trans Am; though the music sounded good, Liberation just didn't seem to be very fun.
The Frequency is a solo project of Trans Am's Sebastian Thomson, and if you're wondering where the funny went, the funny went here. The music of The Frequency is bouncy, groovy and surprisingly upbeat, and though there's a clear debt to Trans Am, Thomson's done a pretty good job of not making this project nothing more than Trans Am Junior. Though on songs like "Forgot" and "Moonburn" he turns on the rock machine, Thomson's eschewed the heavy-metal thunder for a poppy new-wave rock that will make you dance; songs such as "Music as Entertainment," "Zapatos Blancos" and "One Chance" will get your feet to movin' in no time flat.
Though he's joined by others on various songs, Thomson performs most of the music by himself. As with many other one-man band projects, the music occasionally suffers from a sameness that cannot be denied. Thomson's not the strongest of singers, either, and his vocals sometimes get lost between the layers of music, and some of the songs just feel flat. Because The Frequency contains sixteen songs, though, this problem is magnified. Some editing down could have produced a more cohesive, stronger album, one that isn't weighed down by sheer bulk.
Despite these flaws, The Frequency isn't a bad record, and if you're looking for some great driving music, then this album will serve you well. Put it in your CD changer and set it on 'random play' and you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you hear. Just make sure to crank it up when it comes on the radio, though, because this album is best played LOUD.
(After all, what else should you expect from an album with a big-ass amp on the cover?)