I have had the pleasure of getting to know the dudes in Cleveland’s Signals Midwest for years now, so there is no reason why I would not be stoked on sharing their new music video for “Alchemy Hour”, a track off their latest release, At This Age.
Filmed by their pal Tommy Calderon, the video follows the band during their Fall 2016 tour. Do not worry if you have noticed JR and Loren missing in some clips and Josh Voland as well as Ryan Williamson filling in when JR and Loren could not make some of the tour. Just thought I should disclose that. JV is good dude btw and carries leftovers with extreme pride.
At This Age was one of my top releases in 2016 and if you have not made yourself privy to it, you really should change that.
I am always stoked to hear when bands I’ve befriended are getting ready to go on their first European tour.
Signals Midwest recently announced that they will be taking their talents overseas in September. The band will be playing 24 shows in 24 days. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the coolest experiences for them boys.
As if it is not hard enough to tour the states in a used and abused mini-van while crashing on couches, imagine flying your gear over the pond and playing shows in an all new environment.
This will not be cheap by any means and is going to be self-funded by the band who have already admitted paying $5,000 alone for the flights. This of course does not even include any of the souvenirs they will be buying me.
For a mere $5, you can not only help out the band make their debut overseas tour a tad more comfortable, but you can also snag a great EP full of slowed down versions of their material and a brilliant cover of Iron Chic’s “Time Keeps On Slipping Into The (Cosmic) Future.”
The money earned from this release will help offset any costs for the band. I think this is an excellent approach at recovering some of the costs incurred rather than jumping on a Go Fund Me campaign and begging for some extra cheese.
I have already chipped in and downloaded the EP. The Iron Chic cover is worth $5 alone…
SIGNALS MIDWEST EU/UK SEPT 2014 TOUR DATES:
05.09.2014 – Volkach (GER) @ Festival
06.09.2014 – Bielefeld (GER) @ Uberseecontainer
07.09.2014 – Copenhagen (DK) @ Underwerket
08.09.2014 – Hannover (GER) @ Monster Records (acoustic)
09.09.2014 – Iserlohn (GER) @ Rad Room Rehearsals
10.09.2014 – Dendermonde (BEL) @ JH Zenith
11.09.2014 – Paris (F) @ La Mecanique Ondulatoire
12.09.2014 – London (UK) @ Old Blue Last
13.09.2014 – Manchester (UK) @ Wahlbar
14.09.2014 – Glasgow (SCO) @ 13th Note
15.09.2014 – Leeds (UK) @ Santiago Bar
16.09.2014 – Nottingham (UK) @ The Chameleon Arts Cafe
17.09.2014 – Birmingham (UK) @ Scruffy Murphys
18.09.2014 – Cambridge (UK) @ The Portland Arms
19.09.2014 – Lille (F) @ El Diablo
20.09.2014 – Diest (BEL) @ Jeugdhuis Tijl
21.09.2014 – Trier (GER) @ Ex-Haus
22.09.2014 – Bad Neustadt/Saale (GER) @ Juze
23.09.2014 – Landshut (GER) @ Wintergarten
24.09.2014 – Wiener Neustadt (AT) @ Triebwerk
25.09.2014 – Graz (AT) @ Sub
26.09.2014 – Micheldorf (AT) @ Baraka
27.09.2014 – St. Gallen (CH) @ Grabenhalle
28.09.2014 – Mainz (GER) @ Haus Mainusch
I know I have said in the past that I usually do not review any of my friend’s album releases, but I seriously think it’s time to change that.
Within the last year alone, a whole slew of my friends have been dropping excellent releases left and right. Many of those said releases were immediately thrown into my regular rotation and also made it to my “Best Of 2013” list without me even thinking twice.
One of these bands I speak of is Cleveland’s heartthrobs (and beer snobs), Signals Midwest. I learned of them through friends who had shared stages and basements with them and soon became not only a fan, but also a friend. All four members are some of the coolest, kindest people I know.
They have a musical style that ranges from punk rock to indie rock while also carrying a progressive technical grace that is just so appealing. Featuring Max Stern on guitar / vocals, Jeff “JR” Russell on guitar, Loren Shumaker on bass, and Steve Gibson on drums, the band has been doing their thing since late 2008.
The band’s sophomore release of Latitudes & Longitudes was easily one of my favorite releases in 2012.It was no surprise that I turned into even an bigger fan once I heard Light On The Lake. Yeah, it may have dropped a few months back, but after listening to it again today, I realized I needed to write a little something-something about it.
Released through the ever cool folk at Tiny Engines, Light On The Lake is an impressive release from start to finish. It’s an album not only composed of great tunes but also layered with a very narrative story containing a journey of self-realization, injury, and coming to terms. The more I read into the story throughout this album, the more I am loving it.
“308” started off the album with Stern and crew singing a somber yet catchy into. With Stern singing, “give me time ’cause I’m trying to process this”, clearly emotions were beginning to rise. I really dug how the opening track snuck its way into “In The Pauses”. I enjoyed this track tremendously with continual up and down arrangements throughout.
“A Room Once Called Yours” picked things up, but the song continued down a gloomy route. The guitar playing and brutal drumming really is what grabbed my attention throughout. I loved when Stern sang: “So why do we decide to leave when what we really wanna do is stay? And when all we want to do is sleep, we force ourselves awake.”
“St. Vincent Charity” sat on me heavier than the others with technical guitar playing added to an array of group harmonies throughout. What a killer track to listen to. Listening to the song build up and climax was beyond satisfying. The lyrics though is what made this song so poignant. Easily this was one of my favorite tracks on the album.
Having been far away from home before leaving loved ones behind, “The Desert To Denver” really stuck to me. I felt that I really related to the lyrics: “Save me from sinking in this city. Be the light that guides me home.” After all, it was the love in my current relationship as well as from my friends and family that kept me stable until I was able to travel back east.
I loved Loren’s distorted bass-smashing on “Lowercase”. It really reached back to the 90s alt-rock that I have always adored.
“San Anselmo” opened reminding me of an Avett Brother’s song – no joke. Remember the part in “Pretty Girl From Chili”right after Gabriella’s voicemail?Ok, I am sure I lost some of you just now. Anyways…the song opened up pretty awesomely and just continued to amaze throughout. I loved this west-coast-love-affair-with-a-rust-belt-local track so much.
Closing the album was “A Glowing Light, An Impending Dawn”, a track that was like a tribute and a procession. The song put the album to rest as well as the story that was being told throughout. It started softly and built up almost to a celebration status, only to thin out.
I’m pleased to have gotten to know these swell guys over the last few years and plan on keeping them pals for life. From seeing them live on stage to hanging out with them for a night when I was out in the middle of nowhere, these dudes are top notch.
Cleveland is full of amazing bands and honestly, this is the best the music scene has been for as long as I can remember. Take that how you want it, but if you are not caught up with the area talent, then maybe you need to turn your attention to some of these hard working acts in the area. Start with Signals Midwest and branch out accordingly. You will not be disappointed.
I can’t say that I am surprised that two of my favorite Cleveland acts were picked up by A-F Records.
Earlier today, A-F Records shared a pretty kick ass announcement:
Today, we’re proud to welcome “Worlds Scariest Police Chases,” “Worship This!” and “All Dinosaurs” to the A-F Records family. We’ll be releasing records from all of them this summer. In the mean time we’ve put up a free digital sampler for download containing two songs from each artist. It’s available at: www.a-frecords.com/sampler
Click on the above photo to download a killer sampler through A-F Records. I am liking what I am hearing already.
Here is what members of Anti-Flag had to say about these new additions to their label:
“I know you are not supposed to play favorites with your children. And being a ¼ of Anti-Flag and A-F Records means that all of our collective releases are our “kids”… But fuck it. This is hands down the most important record we released and may ever release. I produced it with them over 4 days and I still LAUGH/CRINGE/FEEL SHOCKED AND OFFENDED by each brutal track. They’re fucking cops. They’ll steal your pot. They hate their dads. And their songs are fucking incredible.” – Chris#2
“In a laptop production era, it’s pretty great to come across a band that gives a shit. Worship This! are a band that you want to be friends with. They sound real, sincere, touchable, on a level that I haven’t seen in years. Melodic punk rock in a world where there is very little true melodic punk rock. Tracked live, “Tomorrow, I’ll Miss You”, is 4 friends capturing and documenting real life. If you like records that are Copernican, you’re going to want this in your collection.” – Justin Sane
“All Dinosaurs share sonic kinship to Propaghandi…fast, brutal, without being a “metal” band. Road dogs without a care for the confines of genre, they’re a band who can and will play for everyone and with everyone” – Chris #2
Congratulations to Worship This!, All Dinosaurs, and World’s Scariest Police Chases!!! I look forward to hearing both of your releases this summer. Speaking of new releases, the good dudes in Signals Midwest are putting the finishing touches of their next release that will drop this summer as well. And people told me there is no music scene in Cleveland…