by Kevin Hiatt
Transmatic is an Indianapolis band poised on the brink of major label success. Their self titled CD on the Immortal/Virgin label due to be released within the next few weeks should give them the major exposure their recording deserves.
If you’re ready for rock n’ roll to return to catchy, well-played guitar riffs, vocal harmonies with lyrics of real substance and song writing with clear yet detailed structures, Transmatic could be your band.
The group is a lean three-piece rock ensemble supporting vocalist/front man Joey Fingers. Fingers is also the primary lyricist in the band. His songs explore a wide terrain of subjects, including personal relationships and social observations, with a satirical sense of truth. While his tone can be cynical at times it’s never hopelessly negative like many bands. The opening track “Gravitate” is a case in point. Rich, clean guitar work introduces the song while Fingers intones “There’s no coming back from where we’ve been/you’re saying different people change/get in ... ”. Mysterious perhaps, but all the songs on this CD have lyrics worth pondering the meaning of. Each track seems to have a climactic point of arrival built into the arrangement which is achieved by the authoritative playing of guitarist Zack Baldauf, bassist Andy Carrell and drummer Kirk Frederickson. While their sound has traces of pop alternative rockers (Blink 182), these guys can lay claim to having broken some fresh musical ground that is not merely derivative of other bands.
The key to their success started with the posting of “Blind Spot”on MP3.com. This attracted music industry attention and eventually hooked them up with a producer whose previous clients included the Smashing Pumpkins and Liz Phair. While there are several radio friendly tracks on the CD, “Come” is currently enjoying heavy play on Indianapolis’ WFQB radio. Transmatic also has a softer side which they show on the somber acoustic guitar-based ballad “Impossible.” These guys seem to have all the tools for rock n’ roll success. What I’m wondering is who do we have to know to get them to play in Fort Wayne?
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