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Signals Midwest - Latitudes and Longitudes (Cover Artwork)

Signals Midwest

Signals Midwest: Latitudes and LongitudesLatitudes and Longitudes (2011)
Tiny Engines

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
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Contributed by: mattcohenmattcohen
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In a genre as tried, overdone and limiting as pop punk, it's especially difficult for a pop punk band to take a new approach. But, when done right, it can also be especially refreshing and rewarding to see a band succeed in reworking the genre (A prime example would be the Sidekicks' excellent 2009 .
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In a genre as tried, overdone and limiting as pop punk, it's especially difficult for a pop punk band to take a new approach. But, when done right, it can also be especially refreshing and rewarding to see a band succeed in reworking the genre (A prime example would be the Sidekicks' excellent 2009 album Weight of Air). Enter Cleveland, Ohio's Signals Midwest, whose fantastic new full-length Latitudes and Longitudes transcends conventions and pushes the genre to new boundaries.

Their sophomore effort, recently released on vinyl through Tiny Engines, finds the quartet at the forefront of a new direction of pop punk. Abandoning simple three-chord progressions and formulaic song structure for complex, hard-hitting guitar hooks, noodling solos and heavy, frenetic choruses, Latitudes and Longitudes can best be described as Signals moving into "post-pop punk" territory.

The unparalleled chemistry of the band--comprised of singer/guitarist Max Stern, guitarist Jeff Russell, bassist Loren Shumaker and drummer Steve Gibson--is wholly apparent from the melodic first notes of the album's explosive opening track, "In Tensions." Traversing through powerful jams like "Family Crest" and "The Quiet Persuader," to slower, more delicate ballads like the quiet, yet striking acoustic tune "January and Seven," the album flows seamlessly.

Max Stern's vocal melodies and episodic, picaresque lyrics evokes a certain lyrical romanticism, as if the songs were the soundtrack to a long lost Ernest Hemingway novel. Indeed, the repetition of the powerful lyric "I was counting the miles / You were counting the days / Ain't it strange that the numbers we wanted / Were moving in opposite ways" throughout the record beautifully and melancholically bookends the album like a sprawling novel.

With haunting and powerful songs about the distance between everything as far-reaching as life and death, love and loss, and yearning and belonging, Latitudes and Longitudes is a deeply personal and affecting record that not only exposes a band at their most emotional, but showcases a band as purveyors of a new musical threshold.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
psnotsure (July 2, 2013)

I listen to this on a daily basis. Love it.

ak3punk (March 14, 2013)

Love this album, and this band. If you put Iron Chic, Small Brown Bike and old Hot Water Music in a blender you would get this album.

chawkins (October 6, 2012)

This is easily a dessert island album for me. The lyrics are just so moving and the way the band grooves is so uncommon in punk.

abolitionist (February 10, 2012)

Great dudes, incredible album. One of my favorite LPs of 2011. No brainer!

ericmuth (January 14, 2012)

One of my favorites of 2011. They tore up my living room in Philly and it was fucking awesome. Best dudes ever too, I can't say enough good things about this band.

Scramblin (January 13, 2012)

Made my top 5 of 2011

thedoc (January 13, 2012)

One of the best albums of 2011. Such a great band

freshattitudeyoungbody (January 13, 2012)

This was one of my favorites from 2011. Great record.

nocigar (January 13, 2012)

awesome stuff

dev (January 13, 2012)

Good stuff.

kylewagoner (January 13, 2012)

It made my top 10 of 2011.

evanPGH (January 13, 2012)

Saw them in a basement the other night. Awesome show, great record, best dudes.

danperrone (January 13, 2012)

sounds pretty solid. checking out now.

Mystereohasmono (January 13, 2012)

Fantastic record.

oldgospelchoir (January 13, 2012)

such a dope record.

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