Transitshop is the brainchild of singer/guitarist Chris O’Brien who came up with the idea of putting himself front and center after an accident that limited his guitar playing while in another band. Instead of just being some guy who plays guitar for someone else he began writing and singing and eventually put together Transitshop. This is their debut album, Velocity.
Having been born in the mid 70’s and enjoyed most of the new wave genre as it blossomed and faded out between the 80’s and mid-90’s I was quick to pick up on the influences in Transitshop, The Cure having a huge impact on the album, along with some faint traces of New Order and The Smiths. Trying to avoid the comparison would be like trying to describe bands like The Bravery or The Killers without jumping to the same comparisons. It’s just obvious.
Aside from the comparisons I really did like the drive behind the music. The bands self description puts them between 80’s new wave and modern pop punk. That description accurately describes the bands sound from the synth overlay on some tracks with post punk and modern punk percussion collisions to O’Brien’s, often times acquired, vocals that are reminiscent of a late 90’s sound mixed with mid-80’s new wave guitar.
Lyrically the album is a glass half full, half empty affair that brings on vocals that hit on topics about life kind of sucking, but silver lining it with a stand up and brush yourself off kind of attitude. As far as delivery, O’Brien sounds like he’s got some more fine tuning to do. While the album did a great job of parroting the new wave style that I grew up on. O’Brien’s vocals reminded me of The Gin Blossoms at times, a totally different time and place that doesn’t mesh well with the bands sound. He also sounded a bit off pace with the music at times, but in any case after having my third round with the album I started to get used to the vocals. Hey, even Robert Smith and Bernard Sumner lack great vocal abilities, but they make it work somehow. Time will tell though.
All in all a pretty decent debut that leaves room for improvement on the bands next outing. I look forward to seeing how this band grows. Definitely worth a peep if you were ever an 80’s kid. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.