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The Trans Megetti

Fading Left to Completely On

Gern Blandsten

It's been a good four years since I last heard a Trans Megetti album in its entirety, and probably a couple since I heard one partially, so color me both surprised and pleased that they've now moved away from the Drive Like Jehu Jr. comparisons of the past, as evidenced by their latest Fading Left to Completely On. Sure, guitarist Mark Tesi's vocals still sound like an over-caffeineated Jeff Turner (Gray Matter, 3, Senator Flux), but that was always one of the few things I always dug about The Trans Megetti. Well, fast forward to the present, and we've got the confusingly titled Fading Left to Completely On, an abundantly confident record that's modern rock in intent (a loaded term, I'm sure, but one that's most apt here), and nods to the post-punk past, both theirs and the genre's as a whole. Again, this quartet has more than enough energy to spare, the ceaseless drive of it all still smacking of Drive Like Jehu, but where the differences arrive is in their wizened sense of dynamic control, letting the songs breathe when they need to – sometimes for a stretch, at that – rendering them far more enduring than all the older songs of theirs I've heard combined. Likewise, the hooks sound a bit more human now, much less robotic – doubtless, one of Jehu's hallmarks they bequeathed to the punk scene, and one of the only '90s bands who could actually pull it off – and (newish) bass machine Mark Candidi propels them forward like a punk rock version of Steve (Iron Maiden) Harris – for better or worse, hyperactive and bubbly, but an integral element to Megetti's new lease on life. Still, they'd be a lot cooler if they were monikered "The Trance Spaghetti" – enjoy the veal, folks! I’m here all week!

Gern Blandsten, PO Box 356, River Edge, NJ 07661; http://www.gernblandsten.com