Review Summary: These Scars Are Just the Beginning is certainly worth a listen, but it may or may not make enough of an impression to stay in your music library.
Signal the Escape are not re-inventing the wheel when it comes to pop punk music (as much of a conundrum as that may seem to sound); rather than that, they are content in creating enjoyably catchy, vocal-centric songs. There really isn’t much to the music itself, but there are quite a few reasons to enjoy These Scars Are Just the Beginning
in and of itself. One could call it guilty pleasure music, but it really doesn’t need to be categorized as that, as it can simply be enjoyed for what it is. This release hearkens back to the days when it was bands like Senses Fail and pre-Sunshine
-era Finch that dominated the airwaves shamelessly. It is upbeat with copious amounts of girlfriend-hating within the lyrics sheet; the juxtaposition of those two things are incredibly reminiscent of many pop-punk bands.
The truth is that for the genre, Signal the Escape have crafted an enjoyable EP. It has quite a few hooks and is instantly likeable if you’re a fan of the genre. The main problem is that although it doesn’t sound terrible
by any means, there is not one distinct characteristic that helps it to stand out from the myriad of bands that are creating similar music. Fallout Boy achieved fame from their tongue-in-cheek lyrics and superb melodies, while Senses Fail were able to develop a strong fanbase by mixing vitriolic lyrics with catchy choruses. Signal the Escape mix decent singing with the occasional contrived scream, and the musicianship is just kind of there
to accentuate the vocals. There is just unfortunately not much to differentiate them from the pack; however, they do an admirable job of not adopting the songwriting model that most bands of this ilk fall into. With most bands that incorporate screaming into their sound, there will be an inevitable ballad and then an incredibly heavy song or two. They are content in creating mid-tempo songs that build up to several screamed lines, which in turn makes for a more organic listening experience. It does not sound like a mish-mashed creation of two separate bands, but rather a pop punk band with some post-hardcore leanings in regards to the vocals. “Boys Lie” relies on an interesting idea; the pre-chorus is screamed, which in turn makes the chorus even more infectious. There is even a catchy guitar riff halfway through the song, making the song even more memorable.
These Scars Are Just the Beginning
is certainly worth a listen, but it may or may not make enough of an impression to stay in your music library. With the multitudes of bands creating similar music, Signal the Escape will need to embrace the positives of this album to in order to enhance the listening experience the next time around. As it stands, they have created a good sampler of their talent, and certainly a precursor of what’s to come on a full-length.