Spiraling - Transmitter

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Brizmuzik
Catalog Number: CD B204
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:28:00

The first thing to do, I guess, is to figure out whether or not this is a progressive rock album, or whether these guys are even a progressive rock band. You know, a "real" prog rock band?

I just saw this band play live and heard a lot of their newest material. I enjoyed them quite a bit, enough to buy their latest full length release, but the question still goes begging. They play at prog festivals and their keyboardist, Tom Brislin (one hell of a nice guy, by the way), has performed with both Yes and Camel and, oh yes, they can play one mean cover of "Sound Chaser." But, is this release progressive rock?

Mostly not, I say. Mostly. Out of twelve tunes, I can divine some sort of prog influence on three or four, but a lot of people will probably hear this or that, something they can attribute in some way to the genre in every song. Ahah! This or that bit sounds just like Marillion or Porcupine Tree or whatever. Granted, if examined in small enough chunks, something will be found. Some folks have a quite broad and generous attitude as to what is and is not progressive, and others, or maybe just me, do not. But, and I have been quite rightly reminded of this recently, there are only two types of music really, good music and bad music, and Transmitter is a release of good music, with good vocals and musicianship to boot.

Spiraling is a much better than expected power pop band, sounding to me like a cross between The Foo Fighters and Ben Folds Five. Brislin has that "everyman" singing voice that is so favored these days, and in his songwriting I hear influences from sources far and wide, sources like Ben Folds, Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Lennon and McCartney, Dave Grohl and Brian Wilson as well. The album is an entertaining and downright pleasant listen, full of great pop songcraft and very tight arrangements. A few tunes feature sidemen filling in on guitar, bass and drums, but drummer Paul Wells and guitarist J.P. Doherty shine on darn near every cut and bassist Bob Hart provides a solid foundation throughout. While Brislin is clearly in charge here, he never dominates the proceedings and everyone gets their moments.

Progressive moments include the second half of "Too Good To Be True" and the cuts "Today Is The Last Day I Fixate On Your Shape" and "(Get Your Own) Holy Grail," while "The Connection," "(I Don't Want To) Grow Up" and the title track, "Transmitter" are catchy, groove infected, pop nuggets. Spiraling is an intelligent and melodic, high energy band, playing music that is highly nuanced and harmonically challenging.

Progressive rock or not, Transmitter is a fresh and fun production and Spiraling is one of the brightest stars on the musical horizon. With their talent, their credentials and their obvious appeal beyond the small world of prog rock, they could make a real mark on the American music scene. This album is certainly a worthy beginning.

The Connection / The Girl On Top (Of The Piano) / (I Don't Want To) Grow Up / This Is The Road / Transmitter / Lightning Twice / Living Proof / The


Transmitter (2003)
Challenging State (ep) (2004)
Spiraling Live In New York City (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: July 4th 2005
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website: www.spiraling.net
Hits: 902
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]