Labels: Tiny Engines
Review by: Rob Mair
There’s been loads of articles talking about the so-called “emo revival’, and while you can argue the toss for and against until the clocks start tick-tocking backwards, there’s a single constant “” Signals Midwest are criminally overlooked in any such “must hear’ lists.
Taking cues from Braid and the gruff punk of the likes of Small Brown Bike, the Ohio quartet play meaty yet delicate and intricate Midwest-influenced emo, and on “Lights on the Lake’, they manage to take a tried and trusted sound and ensure it still feels vital and fresh.
“Lights on the Lake’ is by no means a perfect album though “”largely because many of the songs seem to blur into each other. However “” and it is a big caveat to this “” every single song on the album is a certified banger. From the spiky punk rock of “A Room Once Called Yours’ and “Lowercase’ to the more measured indie-rock “The Things That Keep Us Whole’ and “Caricature’ the quality never drops, despite feeling somewhat downbeat throughout.
Signals Midwest are also incredibly inventive. Closer “A Glowing Light, An Impending Dawn’ could have been a monotonous six-minute trial due to the repetitive riff “” yet is punctuated by incredible sing-along moments, changes of tempo and flourishes. Standout “In the Pauses’ is another example of just how smart these guys are, mixing up light and dark to produce something engaging and life-affirming.