Band – Signals Midwest
Album – Latitudes and Longitudes
Label – Tiny Engines
The second of the two new albums from Tiny Engines that have been filling my ears with joy this week is the second album from Signals Midwest.
It may have taken a couple of listens to get in to, but ‘Latitudes and Longitudes’ has really grown on me. I think the album gets better with every listen. I keep finding something new each time I hear it, a new hook or lyric that I hadn’t noticed the time before that makes me enamoured with the whole record. You see, Signals Midwest throw you a bit of curve ball to begin with. The first track ‘In Tensions’ starts off mysteriously, using a retro Spanish flamenco-esque guitar riff to knock you off balance. You wonder just where the hell they are going to take you with it. Then they launch into the ballsy punk rock you were expecting and all is ok in the world again.
‘Latitudes and Longitudes’ is the follow up to Signals Midwest’s debut release, the 2009 album ‘Burn the blueprints’. Since then, they have fleshed out their sound with the addition of a second guitar player, which has really paid off. ‘Latitudes and Longitudes’ has a maturity to it’s ten tracks. It feels very personal and open with songs about love, family and the distance that sometimes keeps you apart from where you want to be. It’s an album packed full of energy, every time you listen you can’t help wishing you were standing in front of the band in a dark, sweaty venue with a couple of hundred other people all screaming the lyrics and throwing themselves into one another. There are also quite a few different elements to the sound that makes up the album. It’s not just staright up punk rock, there are Folk and pop elements to be found. It’s hard to compare but maybe Hot Water Music meets Frank Turner with occasional bursts of Braid and Piebald for good measure might give you some indication of what to expect. And just when you think you’ve got the album figured out they hit you with ‘January & Seven’, a gentle, simple, heart on your sleeve, acoustic love letter that could bring a tear to your eye before it launches into it’s epic grunge finale. The record is then finished off with my two favourite tracks ‘Construction Paper’ and ‘The Weight and the Waiting’, the latter finishing things off in style with the sublime use of a horn section. It leaves you happily content with a very satisfied smile.
I would highly recommend this band/album to anyone who likes good, honest punk rock with a sensitive edge. Hopefully, Signals Midwest will cross the pond and come play in the UK sometime soon. In the meantime you can stream the record or download it at a bargain price from the Tiny Engines Bandcamp page. The link is below. Cheers xx