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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Transmit - Radiation (MonotypeRec, 2015) ****

By Paul Acquaro

Radiation begins with an aggressive bass-line and a forceful thrust of percussion in a slightly odd-meter groove. Then distorted wah of a guitar joins, followed by the growl of the organ, leading us into the type of post-apocolyptic sonic landscape reminiscent of the Tony William's Lifetime circa Emergency. The group however is Transmit and is collective energy of percussionist/guitarist Tony Buck, bassist James Welburn, drummer Brendan Dougherty and keyboardist Magda Mayas.

The follow up, 'Two Rivers' is another journey, dark, serious and mysterious. Where you begin and where you end doesn't even matter, it's what you experience in between. Here texture dominates, the organ spills tantalizingly over everything. The group sound (there are no solos, just a river of music) is complex, fraught with tension and utterly absorbing.

The deconstruction of The Car's 'Drive' from Heartbreak City, is beautiful. It rolls out with a mesmerizing slowness that creeps along as the lyrics unfold. This track is followed up by chime of tiny bells in 'Swimming Alone'. This musical center-piece is well worth the slow build - first to the peculiar and delicate vocals, then to the fantastic post-rock climax, and finally back to some closing tiny bells.

Radiation is an excellent avant-rock album oozing with atmosphere and a dark and somewhat psychedelic vibe.