The Transit War

Miss Your Face

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

For their second album, San Diego indie rockers the Transit War bring, fundamentally, more of the same as on their debut ¡Ah Discordia!, but they do it just a little bit better this time out. The release of an all-new full-length in the same calendar year as a band's debut used to be the norm back in rock's early days, and the Transit War deserve credit not only for an impressive work ethic, but for making Miss Your Face just different enough from their debut to sound like a clear progression. Still produced by Joe Marlett (Relient K, etc.), Miss Your Face has a crisper sound and tighter songwriting that shows off the band's better attributes. The excellent first single "Sheep in Your Head" is as catchy and commercial as a Killers or Hot Hot Heat tune, powered by Mike Frey's propulsive, danceable bassline, but the way it detours into an unexpected hardcore-inspired massed-vocals breakdown at the song's peak is a clever, compelling move. Throughout, primary lead singer Jim Hughes avoids the usual whiny indie rock clichés in favor of a low-key, conversational vocal style that puts across even weaker and more formulaic tunes like "The Only Evidence" and "Operator." While the Transit War still lack that certain frisson that could catapult them beyond the indie rock underground, Miss Your Face is still a solid step forward.

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