The Transmissionary Six
It’s no surprise that Paul Astin, half of The Transmissionary Six, was also co-founder of the open-ended alt. coutry band Willard Grant Conspiracy. T.S. retains a similar sturdy-as-a-fence-post folk vibe of much of the Conspiracy’s work, but Astin scours a couple more layers off, leaving the barest of bones to rattle in this dust storm hymnal. The group’s other mainstay, vocalist Terri Moeller, spins tales of sweet surrender and defeat in a voice that doesn’t reach beyond a whisper. It could be perfect, if she didn’t pitch so damn many of her vowels.
Get Down is full of ghosts, evoking both the downtrodden expanse of the rural Midwest as well as Americana acts that’ve come before. The group’s duo dynamic would seem to lend itself to Mazzy Star comparisons, but songs like “Flake” and “Down For the Count” owe more to Mojave 3’s shadowy musings. Surprisingly, the album’s best moment comes when Moeller abandons the mic for the drumkit on “Johnny & Waldo” and leads the way through an electric piano-riddled sweatbox that would do Black Heart Procession proud. Not that Get Down really needs it, but this short burst of color is a nice touch among the rest of the album’s pleasant, aged sepia tone.
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