Album Review: Transistor – Maybe In The Summer

Maybe In The Summer is the debut LP of American indie rock four-piece Transistor.

By Graeme Smith

What caught my attention most about Transistor’s music is its storytelling. This is exemplified by their album opener Debut. Telling the story of a performer who hits the stage in spite of those who said she couldn’t. It feels like a modern American folk tale in the same vein of Bruce Springsteen or The Killers and it sets the scene for what is to come.

Track two Pounding The Pavement moves further away from folk towards indie rock with its jangly, melodic guitar and driving percussion. It feels like summer, drenched in nostalgia, and the dreamy guitar solo is the icing on the cake.

Silver Lining has a similar vibe and the thread of melodic indie rock flows through to the slow-burning Drivin’ Fast and the album’s title track Maybe In The Summer. The latter is a bass-heavy groove with a political message which brings a new element to the album’s sound, setting up the second half of the album for the band to really push the envelope.

And it delivers, firstly through the darkly apathetic Corporate Whores, which continues the story of disillusionment brought about by inequity, then through Aerostar which takes things in a more acoustic direction and it feels like an anthesis to the album’s earlier summery nostalgia. It reeks of regret and being stuck in the past.

DIY (Do It Yourself) brings back the energy, with a defiant feel. It thumbs in the face of modern adversity, seeking small victories and getting them. For me it’s the album’s highlight, bringing together the bands’ strengths and delivering a hopeful and triumphant message through an earworm melody.

The album closes with the one-two punch of Shadowboxing and L.A. Shadowboxing is a fuzzy barrage of indie rock and roll which captures the feeling of pandemic malaise perfectly. L.A. is a return to the album’s early stadium rock sound with steady drums and swelling guitar riffs. It speaks of finding the joy and adventure where you can and it acts as a call to action for anyone feeling overwhelmed by the world.

Maybe In The Summer is a fantastic debut from a band that surely must be on their way to the international stage. You can check it out below.