Placing the band Signals Midwest into a genre is a difficult task; their latest release Longitudes and Latitudes is a beautiful mesh of melodic interludes, upbeat pop punk and gritty punk rock. Having this many influences in your work can often lead to great things being lost in translation and the overall result being muddled. However, you can fully appreciate the love that went into crafting this record, because everything translates extremely well.
The ten songs on the record come to just under 40 minutes and after a full play-through the listener feels like they have been through an emotional journey and are left wanting more. The lyrics throughout the album have a common theme, one of struggling with the difficulties of being emotionally involved with someone far away. This theme is best illustrated in the reoccurring line
“I was counting the miles, you were counting the days. Ain’t it strange that the numbers we wanted were moving in opposite ways?”
This, alongside complex melodic riffs and powerful drums, most of which was recorded live, come together and fully capture a unique and high-energy feel that is truly a pleasure to listen to.
Longitudes and Latitudes stays very consistent throughout; there is no black sheep song that well… sucks. Yet there are a few songs that come across as highpoints: ‘Limnology’ is a beautiful mix of the influencing genres, starting off timid and melodic then building to a climax that is emotionally gripping. ‘I Was Lost’ is both complex and intriguing with lyrics that keep the listener invested. And ‘The Weight and the Waiting’ is the last track on the album and leaves it on a very high note, dealing evidently with loss and is passionately driven from beginning to end.
Signals Midwest is an impressively likeable band, having never heard of them before this release I was surprised at how much I truly enjoy them. They do something few bands are able to do, mesh multiple genres and come up with something both unique and pleasant. Longitudes and Latitudes is an enjoyable record from beginning to end and should probably be on your playlist.
8.5 / 10
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In support of Longitudes and Latitudes, released earlier in 2012 on Tiny Engines, Signals Midwest in touring the US from mid-July to mid-August. The band will also be appearing at ...
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