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Transmaniacon - 'The Strange World Of Suzie Pellet' Album Review


1. Inca Sunshine

2. Painted On Skin

3. The River The Birds

4. Sexton Breen

5. Dogs Of War

6. Outrun The Pack

7. Tooled Up

8. Aerosol Death Rattle

Like many people I love weird things, but it has to be good weird otherwise it just fails to work. ‘The Strange World Of Suzie Pellet’ the new album from Transmaniacon is definitely weird, but it is not good weird, it is marvellous weird, totally off the scale on that old weirdometer!

Aided and abetted by Lydia Lunch, Maya Berlin and author/ illustrator Ian Miller Transmaniacon deliver a tour de force of a concept album which takes the listener deep into the world of future street dweller Suzie Pellet. The character of Suzie comes from a so far unpublished graphic novel by Ian Miller. It is described as a “post-apocalyptic tale of street survivor Suzie Pellet in a rotten and derelict London-esque urban-scape called Duht” Suzie in her young form is voiced by Punk matriarch Lydia Lunch. Meanwhile Maya Berlin is the voice of a future ‘present day’ Suzie. There are tones of the Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Hawkwind and Blue Oyster Cult in this album. The latter had a song called “Transmaniacon”. Heavy bone-shaking guitar riffs and a monumental tsunami of Hammond Organ licks drive this story into the deepest, darkest recesses of Suzie’s psyche and to those dark, dank locked places in your own mind.

Concept albums can be somewhat hit or miss and some so called concept albums don’t really have a concept or at best a very loose one. Notably the Beatles ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ and David Bowie’s ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust’. However ‘The Strange World Of Suzie Pellet’ is a true concept album in every sense. It has a powerful narrative that flows from album opener “Inca Sunshine” to finale “Aerosol Death Rattle”.

The band are supremely tight throughout and the contributions from Lydia Lunch and Maya Berlin are what escalates this record from good to great. Ian Miller’s contribution is not just important but clearly essential. Transmaniacon have taken Miller’s story and given it a beating heart. The whole thing has a cinematic scope and feel, even the cover looks a little like a retro horror film poster. The spoken word parts that give voice to Suzie’s character are, for me, similar to the treated vocals David Bowie used to voice the characters Baby Grace Blue and Nathan Adler on 1995’s ‘1: Outside’. While the songs in their collected form and flow form the album’s concept and story there are a few that really stand out both within and without the tale of Suzie Pellet. Especially “Painted On Skin” and the first single from the album, “Dogs Of War”.

If you like great Rock music and great stories you will love this epic musical tale. Weird is good and Transmaniacon’s ‘The Strange World Of Suzie Pellet’ is great!

Review - Bill Adamson

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