Signals Midwest - Light on the Lake - LP (2013)

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.