Review Summary: I want to show you I am strong.
Signals Midwest is a 4-piece punk outfit hailing from Cleveland, Ohio. They released their sophomore effort, Latitudes and Longitudes, towards the end of 2011. Unfortunately, this talented band has been passed over for the most part in the wake of last year’s extremely impressive release catalogue. Latitudes is a strong release from an up-and-coming that deserves to be heard.
Immediately it becomes apparent in the opening track, In Tensions, that the band’s biggest talent is their extremely talented lead guitarist and vocalist, Max Stern. His onslaught of rough heartfelt vocals are only overshadowed by his prowess on his guitar, writing incredibly catchy and infectious riffs that one can find subconsciously be humming to himself the next day. The punk band’s music has a distinct midwest emo influence, smoothly incorporated to the band’s overall impressive sound.
Another interesting part of Latitudes and Longitudes is the lyrics. They put the typical straightforward writing method most punk rock bands incorporate in favor for a more poetic approach, in the style of emo bands they take influence from. The strikingly effective presentation of these lyrics within their music results in an impressive overall listen.
Overall, the album is not necessarily groundbreaking. Punk bands have incorporated the midwest emo sound before. Signals Midwest manages to do it in an interesting and compelling way. It fits into their overall sound perfectly and lends just enough to let Signals Midwest stand out in the crowd. The album has weak places to be sure, but as the parting lyric resounds in The Weight and Waiting, “We’ve accepted our own imperfections.” Check out this impressive release and give this band the attention it deserves.