ROCK & REPRISE.NET

Home

Historical Archives

Review Archives

Table of Contents

Links

Contact

Album Review

THE TRANSMISSIONARY SIX
Songs: 2002-2012

There is something in Terri Moeller's voice which intrigues me--- a duskiness or some sort of texture which reminds me a bit of Marianne Faithfull but doesn't. Maybe I would get a better idea if she sang a few of Faithfull's songs but she is too busy singing her own to bother. If they are her own. The Six (though there are only two at their core--- Moeller and Paul Austin) are so busy with the band and their other projects (Moeller plays solo and is a member of Seattle's famed The Walkabouts) that including attributes on their various web pages has been overlooked. No songwriting credits. No publishing credits. I'm working in the dark here.

Ah. The dark. That is a perfect place to listen to The Transmissionary Six. They aren't exactly what they used to call shoegaze--- slow, floating, spacey--- though they do bump up against it occasionally. They are more introspective--- subjects pointing more inward than out--- and that makes for a lax atmosphere. On most songs, the eyelids get heavy and the head rolls back, not because the music puts you to sleep but because it is comfortable and puts you at your ease.

Perhaps it is the way the keyboards, used very minimally on certain tracks, reinforce the sense of melody with just a few notes or chords which seem at times almost an afterthought. Perhaps it is Moeller's lazy approach to her vocals and I don't mean lazy as in “lazy”, but lazy in feel. Her voice can on occasion seem almost disconnected--- science fiction--- but is so perfect for the song. Perhaps it is Austin's outstanding guitar work, and again, I am assuming it is Austin. Reverb and tremolo make the sound on a few songs but he isn't tied to it. He plays a variety of styles throughout the album and the sounds are spot-on perfect. I liken a lot of what he does to Dan Phelps, a guitarist I have come to admire greatly, and am ecstatic to hear another guitar used for good and not evil.

The songs on this album span a decade. From how many albums/EPs? Six? Seven? And yet the album flows like they were all recorded just last week. I have yet to backtrack through their catalog but you can be assured that I will, if only to hear the complete sessions as recorded. I am curious as to exactly how this was put together. Whether they handpicked the songs just for the flow or if maybe they happened to be band favorites--- the songs that they or maybe their fans have returned to over and over again because they are truly the best.

I hound Moeller in streaks, you know. Not enough to warrant a restraining order but enough so that she knows that there are people awaiting that solo album she has been working on for what seems forever. In fact, that's how I found out about The Transmissionary Six. I had never heard of them until my last scathing post on Moeller's page bemoaning a lack of new Moeller music. She replied, and rather graciously considering my tone I think, that the solo album had to be postponed to ready the Six's retrospective album.

The Six? Hell, if I'd known about the Six, I would not have been so pushy because, guess what? This is exactly what I expected from Moeller's next album. I know I say this too often (and then again, maybe not often enough) but this is good stuff! Don't listen to me, though. Instead, watch, listen and learn.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.


website counter

Supporting the Indies Since 1969