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Lost In Time, The Transonics (self-released)

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Is it still retro rock when some of the musicians involved have been playing around Columbia in various bands almost since it was new wave? In the ears of the listener, at least, the sounds on Lost In Time certainly place The Transonics squarely in the early-’80s college radio era. Chiming guitars, martial beats, gutsy female vocalist — it’s all there for your next Brat Pack or Valley Girl theme night. 

For those who grew up with the sound, the references are easy to pick up. The title track combines The Motels’ pop smarts with a bass line and groove worthy of an Echo & the Bunnymen classic, while “Secret Code” and “You’re So Pretty” evoke the self-conscious art rock smarts of The Swimming Pool Q’s. 

The moments they escape the obvious analogies are the most rewarding and original, such as when “Waiting” tasks singer Patti Davis’ slightly menacing croon with a classic tale of unrequited love over an insistent rhythm and Neil Young-worthy guitar tones that aren’t pinned to any particular decade.

There is more than enough classic melody on these songs to keep them fresh even as they pay tribute to bygone pop constructs. Break out the skinny ties if you need to, but they’re not required attire to enjoy these reliably entertaining rock ‘n’ roll retreads.

What: The Transonics

Where: Art Bar, 1211 Park St.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 9 p.m.

With: Harry & the Hootenannies

Price: $6

More: 803-929-0198,

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