Transition makes the radio waves

Web Special: Fans of Sum 41, Lit, and A New Found Glory will enjoy Pittsburgh-based rock group Transition’s latest release, Get There. The group, consisting of Daniel Smyers on vocals, Steven Biringer on guitar and vocals, Matthew Colussy on guitar and vocals, James Joseph Caligiuri on drums, and Harrison Wargo on bass, prides itself on simply constructed rock tunes, in-your-face rock production, and slightly whiney, heartthrob vocals.

With their recent signing to New York record label Floodgate Records, Transition is undoubtedly looking to reach a mainstream audience with its music. Transition's music is clearly a reflection of this state of mind. Although their music is uninteresting, the group has good chemistry, and they deliver their product in a simple, radio-friendly style.

Carnegie Mellon students may recall when Vs. The Earth performed on campus at the beginning of the year. Transition’s material is not much different: Only one song on the newest CD is over four minutes, with song format rarely deviating from normal verse-chorus-refrain format. Like Vs. The Earth, Transition’s music is punchy, energetic, and catchy. There aren’t many guitar solos, odd time signatures, or, for that matter, any signs of musical integrity in the group. But for casual music listeners, don’t fret: Transition provides plenty of room for head bobbing and singing along. The CD’s anthem-like title track offers a teen-bop road-trip image, with lyrics like, "To the West Coast and the sun/we won’t sleep 'till we make it.... California here we come." On "Winter," patience and sincerity are the themes as Smyers sings, "I'll wait for winter to come/maybe by then you’ll be done/wasting your time on someone/who doesn’t care as much as me.” Smyers is, by no means, a lyrical Bob Dylan — but he isn’t trying to be. The group isn’t looking for lyrical brilliance: It is looking for catchy words and themes that can easily connect with the audience.

In that light, Transition has plenty of potential to reach success in the American mainstream music scene. It would be ridiculous to think that Transition will ever contribute anything significant to the world of music. However, to think that Transition won’t connect to young audiences who are casual music listeners is untrue. Their style is simple, their musical formulas are basic, and they are simply a young, energetic group of guys who play fun music. As long as you listen to Transition without any expectations of hearing the saviors of rock 'n' roll, Transition just may put a much-needed smile on your face.