Alternative music reviews

The Transmissionary Six

Get Down Jan 2005

My reaction to the first track, blacktinrocket was to wonder what the hell was going on because this sounded so American (I had received it from a uk mail address). I had my doubts about both the vocal effect, the bloke's voice, or the adoption of the American accent. I carried on listening and thought, this is really rather good - but realised that it was probably a female singer. A second listen to the tape I had made for the car confirmed my liking for the album.

I checked the CD cover that night and realised my mistake. I had noticed that the acoustic guitar was very good and there he was - my guitar hero, Paul Austin. Now, Paul may seem a strange choice for reverence because he plays a supportive role and doesn't play solos but there's something about the sheer clarity of every note that I love and the atmospheres he can evoke with that six-string are stunning. Obviously I have a deep affection early Willard Grant Conspiracy that he played with - but most of all, Paul plays guitar just like I would like to play it. Add to this the vocals of Terri Moeller from the Walkabouts and you've got a potent mix.

Well, that first track is now a source of wonder, spooky and unsettling. This is an Americana story book of a dissolute lifestyle. There are plenty of stunning tracks such as downforthecount and flake and there are also tracks that tend towards more obvious melodic structures. In the end, how much you can love this CD all comes down to whether you like Terri Moeller's voice - there's no other voice to compare with it.


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Bill Callahan
Jeffrey Lewis
Florence & The Machine
Resonance Association
The Roe Family Singers
The Peter Parkers

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