The Phantom Tollbooth
 
 release
Artist: Bodixa
Label: UK indie
Length: 4 tracks / 15.31 minutes 
 
So much attention is paid in the Christian music marketplace to bands who are seen as potential "crossover" candidates that those musicians who are quietly working their way around the club scene are all too often overlooked. Bodixa are another of those, taking their broader than normal rock sounds into the clubs of their native Leeds, and occasionally further afield.
 
Their rock sound is a mix of driving acoustic guitar and bass, complemented by an electric guitar which adds a strummed, distorted backing for the vocals and other instruments at times. At others is used in a more atmospheric way, reminiscent of more experimental rock outfits. Given the band's obvious youth, the melodies exceed expectations. Anna Ibbotson's vocals have already received much well-deserved attention, and songs like "Ideal" suit her sultry vocals well. Although she reminds me of a number of female vocalists, she sounds most like Sam Phillips moving into more aggressive waters.
 
Lyrics are not included in the simple CD sleeve lining. They are generally presented as a message for one person, but who that is is open to interpretation. At times it could be God, but it would seem that He is not the only one addressed. The band has obviously put time and effort into their lyrics and there are some interesting images ("A Song About Space" in particular seems intriguing), but more focused writing might help this area develop as the band matures further.
 
This recording's presentation suggests that its main purpose is to serve as a calling card or demo for the band. As such there are rough edges which need to be worked out--a couple of times the arrangements felt a little limp--but overall this EP points towards a promising future.
 
James Stewart (1/1/99)