Sound — 8
Downtown Merry-Go-Round from the power pop punk quintet Transmit Now is easy to like and easy to lose in a crowd of others of its ilk like CD's from Mayday Parade and Framing Hanley. The album has everything fans like about power pop punk including the arousing sounds of racing guitar flicks and clusters of crunching drumbeats and rumbling bass pulls. Fronted by lead singer Andy Brooks, the songs are propelled by guitarists Kevin Parrow and Tony Aguilirre whose fever-pitch flusters work in conjunction with the punk-laden beats filament by bassist Lee Gianou and drummer Greg Parrow. The dance rock grooves steeling What You're Thinking and Let's Go Out Tonight are seamed in melodic motifs liken to The Killers, while the staggering drum strikes of Wishing You Well are re-enforced by searing guitar shreds. The crunching beats and whipping guitar slashes of She Likes It create craters of catatonic tears, and the raw rock treads of Stop Stop are saturated in classic rock elements. The band lowers the heat on soft rock numbers like The Last Thing and Fast Ride, but kick up the guitar thrusts to a breakneck speed on Everything Alright and the sweltering riffs bulking up Posterboys and Pick Up The Phone. Most of the songs favor a familiar sound relatable to just about every power pop punk band on the market, and yet, Downtown Merry-Go-Round is an album that is hard to put down. Transmit Now encompass everything likeable about power pop punk, and they deliver the goods with the affinity of veteran musicians.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are typical of power pop tunage enticing audiences to go on a pleasure ride with the band like in Posterboys when Brooks teases, Do you wanna come with me / We can get away and never look back / We can run away and that's a fact / What do you think about that / Sounds so sweet that we can start right now. Other lyrics have the voice of a counselor like in Issues with encouraging words that resound, We all got issues / Don't let them convince you that you're not okay / Just the way that you are. And then there are songs where the lyrics plead for a second chance like in The Last Thing when Brooks asks, What would you say / What would you do if I was to say / I've waited for you. The lyrics reflect circumstances that are relatable to everyday lives and offer feasible solutions to get through the impasses.
Overall Impression — 8
Produced by Brett Hestla, Downtown Merry-Go-Round will likely find itself in the pile of CDs that contain Simple Plan, Anberlin, Mayday Parade, Boys Like Girls, etc. Transmit Now has not differentiated themselves from their musical influences which prevents them from setting themselves apart from others of their ilk. Hailing from Central Florida, Transmit Now got a break playing on the Vans Warped Tour in 2008, which exposed audiences to the band's self-titled debut album. Two years later and not much about their music has changed, which has its benefits and its disabilities. Either way Downtown Merry-Go-Round has relevance in today's power pop marketplace.