Transmit Now: Downtown Merry-Go-Round

Transmit Now: Downtown Merry-Go-Round
Transmit Now seems like one of those bands I should hate. First, the band is from Orlando, FL, which as soon as I heard their music I thought “of course they are”. I mostly thought that because their brand of pop rock is exactly the kind of thing tween’s that grew up on Disney music would love. Then the band’s bio reveals that their first gig was at the Vans Warped Tour in 2008. But despite having some strikes against them, the band shows some redeeming qualities on their debut album, Downtown Merry-Go-Round.
Before we get to the redeeming qualities, its probably necessary to draw some comparisons so you know what exact brand of Disney-friendly pop rock Transmit Now is specializing in. The album’s opening track “What You’re Thinking” immediately reminded me of Head Automatica or Kill Hannah. Lead singer, Andy Brooks has a voice very similar to Daryl Palumbo but it is the song’s mixture of electronic and rock elements that justifies my comparisons. The track is catchy but ultimately superfluous. The track’s lyrics are mired in cliches. Lines like “well now I’m ready to go and I see you are too/Can’t take your eyes off me/Can’t take my eyes off you” and the chorus of “So tell me what you’re thinking/Cause if it’s what I’m thinking, we can blame it on the drinking” are shudder-worthy.
But I do not think anyone is listening to Transmit Now for their lyrical prowess. Their major redeeming quality is that they make fun, catchy party music. Not all their songs mix electronics and pop rock like “What You’re Thinking”. “Stop Stop” reminds me of the mid-2000s run of pop punk bands lead by Fall Out Boy. Of course, the fact that Fall Out Boy had a hit song with “Dance Dance” and Transmit Now uses a repetitive song titled like “Stop Stop” helps the comparison a little.
The catchiness does save more songs than it should but some tracks fall through the cracks. For example, “The Last Thing” just does not live up to the rest of the album. The album was produced by Brett Hestla who also produced albums for Creed. That influence is definitely felt on “The Last Thing” which sounds like Maroon 5 ham-handedly running through a Creed cover.
Besides that one severe misstep, the album is pretty much a fun, party album. Most songs are fairly well-crafted pop rock even if they are derivatives of Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and bands of that ilk. While the album is not going to rack up critical acclaim it will surely find a place in the heart of some teenagers somewhere.
Rating: 4.8/10
MP3: Transmit Now “What You’re Thinking”
Buy: iTunes

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