Transient Songs
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Transient Songs


Band Alternative Singer/Songwriter


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"There is a fresh sound on Plantation To Your Youth that is sorely lacking with a lot of modern bands / The vocals are upfront and impassioned, one thing that sets the band apart from much of the current wave of indie rock / There is a combination of rauco"

Transient Songs is a local Seattle duo comprised of John Frum and Jimmy Andrews, who handle all of the instruments between the two of them. Their new five song EP is a solid collection of psychedelic garage rock in the vein of Neil Young and paisley underground bands such as The Rain Parade and Green on Red.

There is a fresh sound on Plantation To Your Youth that is sorely lacking with a lot of modern bands. The vocals are upfront and impassioned, one thing that sets the band apart from much of the current wave of indie rock. The other thing that does this of course is the memorable songwriting. There is a combination of raucousness and gentleness in the songs that is mastered quite well by the two core members of the group. On top of these two assets is the wonderfully warm sound of the EP. The production is stellar.

In fact, trying to pick a standout track from this collection of songs is difficult to do. All five of them are very good from the somber opener "Greenwood Backyards" to the straightforward, but slightly melancholy and still sonically interesting "Living With Decay." I would love to see how Transient Songs would sound in a live setting. Even an acoustic performance by Frum and Andrews alone would be intriguing. Their songs are great and I would recommend this EP to anyone.
- Three Imaginary Girls

"This release conjures forlorn vistas and cinematic undercurrents and world weary narratives / Navigates to the doobie-littered altars of Pink Floyd and the Byrds. Bleary, exquisite and wholly transcendental"

Originating out of the hazy fog banks of the Pacific Northwest, garage psychedelic outfit Transient Songs (vocalist-guitarist John Frum and bassist Jimmy Andrews) and their five-song debut, Plantation to Your Youth, offer up a sublime resin-filtered journey through smoke-enshrouded byways and chiming guitars trails far beyond the lo-fi, burnout ethos of their basement origins. With enough jangly guitars for the Pavement/Magnet mag crowd and shimmering sheets of Jesus and Mary Chain-esque guitar squall and feedback, the release conjures up forlorn vistas, cinematic undercurrents and world-weary narratives ("Living with a ghost downstairs/And everywhere is never as green as it was back there") that navigate to the doobie-littered altars of Pink Floyd and the Byrds. Bleary, exquisite and wholly transcendental. - Mean Street Magazine

Grade: B+
- Mean Street Magazine, San Dieo

"like the best psychedelic music, this stuff works like a new drug. / It's disorienting and maybe disturbing at first, but then it becomes addictive / Plantation to Your Youth is an EP that gets better the more you listen / one of my favorite releases of "

Getting right to the point, Transient Songs is a strange name for a band, and Plantation to Your Youth is a strange name for an EP. Hell, Plantation to Your Youth is a strange EP in itself. It's a pop-psychedelic mix of distorted guitars, low-fi production, and lyrics that are, by turns, dark, dreary and depressing. But like the best psychedelic music, this stuff works like a new drug. It's disorienting and maybe disturbing at first, but then it becomes addictive.

Plantation to Your Youth will probably wind up a forgotten artifact of indie music, because the duo apparently doesn't tour and doesn't seem part of any scene (although it carries on the tradition of garage sounds emanating from the Northwest). Still, the music got under my skin, largely because of the songwriting skills of Jimmy Andrews and John Frum (the latter of whom played guitar for Fort Worth, Texas, indie cult rockers Hasslehorse).

Most heavy music is based on riffs and shouting, but what these guys do is write sugary melodies and then pummel them with super-heavy arrangements (think the Fleet Foxes through a distortion pedal). This technique was pioneered by the early Who, carried on by the Clash and perfected by the Jesus and Mary Chain (the new Magnetic Fields album also takes this approach). The title track, for instance, lays a delicately plucked acoustic lead guitar atop what sounds like a half dozen snarling electric guitars playing rhythm parts. Southern City Saturdays starts with an acoustic guitar and vocal section before moving into an entirely unrelated �main� song -- after which it transitions back to the acoustic section for the ending.

The lyrics -- from what can be made out -- carry on the tradition of psychedelia in that they're impressionistic portraits of lives shattered by having to deal with, you know, reality, man. Some inspiring sample couplets: "You've got a heart that just won't quit/ And I've got a head thats so full of shit" and "All the crying kids that you never had/ They had to get away and find their real dads."

Plantation to Your Youth is an EP that gets better the more you listen because more things bubble to the surface: half-heard drum parts, buried guitar harmonies, and choruses that start to take on different meanings. Anyone who rues the day Pro Tools became the industry standard way of recording will enjoy getting lost in these thickly textured mixes, which sound like they might have come off an old Ultimate Spinach or Move record. - Prefix Magazine

"Effortlessly evokes the orchestral grandiosity of pre-sandpit Brian Wilson / Any comparisons probably won't do much to please Transient Songs themselves: their lyrics and dexterous musicianship really are entirely their own."

John Frum and Jimmy Andrews are specialising in what is a heady mixture of classic 80s (I swore I'd never use the word but here it is) Shoegaze - the surf harmonies, the downtuned fuzztone guitar harmonics, and borderline psychedelia that evokes the weightier end of the mid 80s Folkrock scene that gave us The Long Ryders and The Rain Parade - and an inescapable and unmistakeable songwriting debt to REM, which for all (or perhaps because of) REM's mainstream success throughout the 80s/90s and more recently, I don't ever really recall hearing too many bands on whom REM were a noticable influence, and it's taken my hearing Plantation To Your Youth to properly bring this to my attention.

So, if you think REM the great surreal countryfied stylists of the last two decades, would you necessarily appreciate Transient Songs? First track "Greenwood Backyards" is about a minute and a half of reverb laden semi-acoustic chords overlaid with keening mandolin and slide parts which, while its visceral energies recapture the machine grind of Snakedriver era JAMC, is really only an introduction to the title track, which both builds quite spectacularly on its abbreviated predecessor and displays some of the oblique lyrical touch of the best of REMs late 80s work. The song hangs around a great juddering wall-of-sound hookline that effortlessly evokes the orchestral grandiosity of pre-sandpit Brian Wilson, and the heavily layered production takes what is the most basic three chord structure to a quite staggering conclusion. Following on from this, "Southern City Saturdays" is most obviously the track which could slip unnoticed into an REM b-sides collection, a relatively more restrained acoustic based song. This is followed with "Locust Shells", which has an undeniable late 60s feel to both its structure and instrumentation, shares the majestic production style of the title track, and takes a detour quite firmly into Scott Walker territories. Final track "Living With Decay" is also, there is little doubt in my mind, a quite definite echo of some of those lesser known Stipe/Buck/Mills/Berry compositions, REM being a very good example of the type of band whose work I think I know, and were the track released as a single today it might do something similar to what is my own favourite REM semi-obscurity, "Lotus",which made 36 in the UK charts around a decade ago.

But all these comparisons probably won't do much to please Transient Songs themselves: their hard-lived lyrics and dextrous musicianship really are entirely their own.

- Delusions of Adequcy

"5 Songs awash in dusty ambience and jangly psychedelia / Equal parts Roger McGuinn, CSNY and latter day Grant Lee Phillips / Lay on the floor and enjoy it."

The five songs that comprise Plantation to Your Youth are awash with garage-dust ambience and the kind of jangly psychedelia that invokes the little sunshine seen by that city as much as its oft-cited gloomy dampness

equal parts Roger McGuinn, CSNY, and latter-day Grant Lee Phillips, with dashes of Echo and the Bunnymen, These United States, and para-dimensional backporch The Edge create a tasty morsel that will tingle, if slightly confuse, your palate think Pop Rocks and Guinness. Then lay on the floor and enjoy it -
- Metro Spirit - Augusta, GA


Platation to Your Youth EP (2008)
Cave Syndrome (LP 2010)



Cave Syndrome is the first LP by Seattle based Transient Songs. Before departing to Seattle, Frum spent his formative years playing in a slew of obscure bands in Texas from fronting 90’s North Texas cult band Hasslehorse to a stint behind the drums for Dallas punkers Hagfish (whose members went on to play with tweenie heroes Rise Against and Texas icons the Toadies). After tiring of playing with a handful of local Seattle bands, Frum had the familiar pressing urge to start writing again and set up rag tag studios in the back rooms and basements of his rented homes in and around Seattle. After meeting Lawrence transplant bassist and multi instrumentalist Jimmy Andrews (Pomonas), the two realized they both shared an affinity for 70’s psychedelic rock and Transient Songs released their first EP: the delicate yet feedback laden Plantation to Your Youth in 2008 to a string of positive reviews that compared the sound to the vibe of Pink Floyd with the density and disorienting fuzz of Jesus and The Mary Chain.

As the first songs for the full length were being written and recorded, Frum shattered his right humerus bone in an accident and brought the recording process to a grinding halt for five painful months. As the winter wore on, isolation and a series of tragic personal and psychological events dug an even deeper hole that seemed harder and harder to crawl out of slowing the recording down more. Frum continued writing and recording, bringing in other musicians as needed. There was an important catharsis in the process of writing and recording that served as a primary source of sanctity during this time. Recording for the album started in late 2008 and wrapped up late 2009.

Although traces of the garage psychedelia that litter the EP exist on the new release, Cave Syndrome is a grander musical departure: more cohesive instrumentation, adornments of cello and violin add a richer texture and mood, layers of sonic murk and snarling guitars are traded for 12 strings and more melodic guitar parts. Dense melodic tracks sit side by side with sparse arrangements. At the core of it all Cave Syndrome is a series of aural images from a transformative period in Frum's life that he considers as important lyrically as sonically. Although recorded by Frum and Andrews primarily at home in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, Frum acknowledges his engineering limitations and the album benefits sonically from being mixed at Two Sticks studios in Seattle by engineer Michael Benjamin Lerner and mastered by longtime go to mastering guru and friend Chris Hanzsek.