Signals Midwest


Written by: PP on 15/04/2022 11:22:56

Signals Midwest has long been one of the most criminally underrated Midwestern punk bands out there. Armed with a dual guitar approach, they're able to craft far more depth-laden and complex melodies than most of their peers, which truly come to life in live environments. Their past couple of records "At This Age" and "Light On The Lake" have featured more contemplative and introspective indie rock vibes, which haven't always captured their best sound. On their fifth album "Dent", they wisely combine the two approaches and the result is immediately much better.

They don't waste time and open the album with "Blind Contour", a melody explosion delivered in loud, FEST style Midwestern punk. It's a high-tempo song that's simultaneously rough-around-the-edges and rowdy, resulting in one of their best songs yet thanks to its slightly gravelly and semi-scratchy vocal style. In comparison, "I Used To Draw" is a much quieter track that leans on their indie rock side, yet its "I spoke to the city and the city spoke back" passage is one of my favorites on the record.

"Sure Of It" is where the band brings back elements from their debut album, which means plenty of references stylistically to Bear Vs Shark style quiet/loud explosions of scratchy clean vocals at unpredictable spots. It's a raw, volatile expression that feels as if it's about to jump off the walls at any moment. Similarly, "Tommy Took A Picture" is signature style Signals Midwest track that could've been on "Latitudes & Longitudes" given its fast-paced Midwestern punk sound. Its "I stayed for more than just a few" bits are infectiously catchy and will be sure to raise sing-alongs in a live setting.

Throughout their existence, Signals Midwest has been characterized by their brilliant vocalist Max Stern. He owns a great set of pipes that are just gravelly enough to add edge, but soft enough to allow for the aforementioned indie rock element. This allows the band a great deal of versatility in terms of their sound, which is on perfect display here on "Dent". The songs range from awesomely rowdy Midwestern punk to more thoughtful, softer indie rock pieces and everything in between. In that sense, "Dent" is the album the band has been trying to write all along, so it's great to finally see such a successful execution of that expression.


Download: Blind Contour, Sure Of It, Tommy Took A Picture, I Used To Draw, Love And Commerce
For the fans of: Bear Vs Shark, Timeshares, Ma Jolie, Typesetter
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.04.2022
Lauren Records

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