Trans Am

Eschewing the blatant political anger that dominated 2004's Liberation, Trans Am goes for sheer dance-floor energy on the eclectic new Sex Change. Not to say they've completely checked their Bush-baiting at the door ("Exit Management Solution," anyone?), but now that most of the country has gotten the picture on W, the DC-based group has set their sites on a different kind of party politics, which is great news for concert-goers looking to wear out their Chuck Taylors. Aggressive and, at times, unapologetically retro, largely instrumental Sex Change tracks like the Kraftwerk-derived "First Words" and the Ministry-esque distorto-guitar-bashing of "Tesco v. Sainsbury's" keep the textural elements shifting while never easing the propulsion level lower than full-throttle. Combine this new material with the band's solid rep for balls-out, highly theatrical live shows, and it's hard to picture going wrong with this gig, gender reassignment issues notwithstanding.

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Scott Faingold