Based in Columbia, South Carolina, surfedelic pop outfit The Transonics introduce their spanking new EP, entitled Tides, via Sonic Soiree Records. Tides follows the band’s 2020 debut album, Lost in Time, which spent 13 weeks on the NACC charts.
Female-fronted, The Transonics’ sound amalgamates soupçons of surf, psychedelic rock, new wave, and power pop into music harking back to the ‘80s, akin to an intersection of the Eurythmics and No Doubt. The band’s personnel include Patti Davis (vocals, keyboards), Lisa Thiem (vocals), David Burnett (guitar), Michael Smith (keyboards), Andrew Morgan (bass), and Josh Brannon (drums, percussion).
Made up of six tracks, Tides begins with the title track, which opens on strident shimmering colours flowing into a surf/new-wave flavoured rhythm topped by coruscating guitar riffs. Davis’ lush voice, vaguely reminiscent of Gwen Stefani, imbues the lyrics with cool, alluring timbres.
Commenting on the track, Patti Davis shares, “‘Tides’ started with a guitar line that David came up with. It had a cool surfy vibe, and Josh came up with a bouncing drum beat around it. When we were in the studio (at Strawberry Skys Recording Studio), Gary Bolton had an idea to simplify the drumbeat and make it a more straightforward song. We tried, but it didn’t work. The whole song is built around the bounce of the drums, and without it, it just didn’t have a groove that we could fall into.”
From a purely subjective viewpoint, entry points include “Tequila,” dripping with dangerous washes of sleazy energy as Davis’ femme fatale-laced tones imbue the lyrics with risky savours.
“Better watch your step if you’re into this potion / Cause it’ll knock you down and leave you in the ocean / One sip, and you’ll want more / Two, and you’re on the floor / That devil juice is causing a commotion.”
Perhaps the best track on the EP, “Orange Sunshine”, blends creamy waves of jangle-lite guitars with contagious rhythmic momentum. Davis’ silky-smooth infuses the lyrics with low-slung frothy filaments. Whereas “Getcha” turns things upside down, merging pop-punk energy with aggressive hints of new wave, parading The Transonics’ ability to pump out sizzling rock.
Superbly wrought, rippling with a scope of stylistic flavours, from undulating sensuality to the raw impudence of pop-punk, Tides is a grand EP.
Listen to ‘Tides’ – BELOW: