The Naked Grace Missionaries: Transmission

London trio, The Naked Grace Missionaries recently released their EP, Transmission. The EP marks the final piece of a trilogy of releases that together make up the band’s debut album, The Ceremony of the Keys. If words like “Missionaries” and “Ceremony” haven’t tipped you off, this is some witchy stuff and the music follows suit.

Most rock trios are made up of guitar, bass, and drums; The Naked Grace Missionaries buck this tradition, consisting of a single guitar and two female singers. This means that the vocal harmonies are usually more lush than the instrumentation which creates a unique dynamic. Percussive acoustic guitar is accompanied by eerie ooohs on opening track “Chains” before the bluesy lead vocals kick in. One singer goes for low sneering vocals that are reminiscent of Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley with the other singer doubling them in a higher register. Combine that with the lyrics about “chains all across this land,” it sounds like a spiritual from the Civil War-era.

The middle two tracks of the four song EP follow roughly the same pattern with pretty guitar arpeggios as the backdrop for child-like vocals. In the case of “Sacrifice,” the song is about losing wonder to fit in with modern values. While “Marvel” is an ode to scientist and occultist, Jack Parsons. I won’t go into it but safe to say, his Wikipedia page is a wild ride.

Continuing on the wild ride path, the EP closes with “Brothers in Space,” a song inspired by the Heaven’s Gate cult. It is the only song where the guitar is really strummed and there is also a flanger effect put on the vocals. It is accompanied by some truly wild lyrics about how “they’ll never find our bodies.”

Despite being released is June, Transmission feels like an EP made for spooky season. Not only does it musically sound like it comes from a bygone era but the lyrics are so unlike anything heard in the mainstream. One listen and you can easily imagine it soundtracking your nightmares.

Rating: 7.8/10

Listen on Apple Music

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