REVIEW: Analog Missionary - "Transmitter"

By Pat Hawkes-Reed

Chain Border

TransmitterAt first, I thought this was just another swirly band with swirly female of those bands every city seems to have of those bands that has "indie" influences written all over it, but is "supposed" to be goth. If goth, they are not of the "trad" style (a la Siouxsie and the Banshees) but maybe a 4AD style. I got more of a Dead Can Dance vibe off of some of the songs, or slices of certain Projekt bands (those with female vocals, of course). At times, some of the tunes remind me of the borderline twee vocals and songs of Kate Bush...a compliment, since I do like Kate Bush.

The vocals do stand out, though all the musicians are *more* than competent with their respective instruments. Anstrom has quite a lovely voice...I picture her on-stage as one of those singers who puts all sorts of body language into her on-stage performance as opposed to just standing there stock still with eyes closed. And, the thought of seeing and hearing a theremin onstage just plain intrigues me. The CD is their first release and has 11 songs.

My personal favourite is the title song Transmitter, maybe due to the more rock influences in the Concrete Blonde and Sunshine Blind vein. Anstrom's voice proved that she can do the stuff, not just breathless vocals (which would not fit at all with the music of this song). Second fave would have to be Sundering Sea which swept me up in its melody and held me close.

This is a five member band: Anstrom on vocals and theremin, Kevin Kaiser on guitars, Russ Miglicio on drums, Tony Novak on bass/stick and keyboards and Adam Taylor on keyboards. None of the information I have on them states where they are located, but I think I can safely assume that they are Alabama-based due to the locations of the live performances on their website and that the locale of the recording studio was in Silverhill, Alabama. (This in itself is slightly ironic that I ended up reviewing this parents retired to nearby Fairhope, Alabama many years ago and I have actually been in the area a few times-most recently in 1998 - though I no longer live in the US).

After reading the interview on their site, I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed to not be able hear the Egyptian song they do live. It sounded to be a unique (especially in Alabama!) musical experience...I was reminded of Arcanta and their middle-eastern vibe which makes their performances so compelling.

I enjoyed the website...the photos are lovely on the main and lyric pages, and the live shots do give some idea of their onstage presence. It's still under construction and could use some more bio info, but is well worth taking a peek at and maybe checking out the MP3's to make your own decision on this band. It's too bad that I probably will never get to see this band live (due to sheer logistics) since they have so much going for them. My one piece of advice would be for them to pursue a few more songs like Transmitter so as to not be locked forever in a swirly-music box.

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