Brandtson - Send Us A Signal (Cover Artwork)


Brandtson: Send Us A SignalSend Us A Signal (2004)
Militia Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It must be hard for a band like Brandtson, mainstays of the indie rock genre that became fashionable over the past few years, passed up and left behind. They sat comfortably on their pungent discography over at Deep Elm and were neglected while their peers climbed to peak levels of popularity. The.
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It must be hard for a band like Brandtson, mainstays of the indie rock genre that became fashionable over the past few years, passed up and left behind. They sat comfortably on their pungent discography over at Deep Elm and were neglected while their peers climbed to peak levels of popularity. The Militia Group decided to lend a hand to the troubled band and with the support of a new label they're demanding you pay attention to the sounds of Send Us A Signal.

By association via Deep Elm Brandtson will always bear a Post-It Note that reads "emo" on their backs however, it's obvious from the guitar riffs that guide the opening track into a toe-tapping rocker that they're not going to fit comfortably in one genre. The seamless fade into the gentle "Drawing A Line In The Sand" allows vocalist Myk Porter to show the attractiveness of his perfectly harmonized voice, assisted by a beautifully shaped melodic backdrop provided by a soft drum pulse and a sinuous bass beat. On "Throwing Rock Tonight" the other three members steal the show with complex and sophisticated melodies, perfectly blending an early 90's grunge tone with the appeal of modern power-pop.

Much like Jimmy Eat World took a big jump from Clairty to Bleed American by incorporating unpredictability and the appeal of a big rock sound, Brandtson follows the similar formula to success. A mellow pace to "Escapist" supported by a contagious clapping rhythm that ensures an instant live hit for a band already renowned for an exhilarating stage presence. The breakdown beats in the waning seconds of "Just Breathe" are wonderfully placed setting up the entire band for a musical explosion which continues on and infects the thunderous distortion induced "C'Mon Fascista." The recreation of the group's classic "Blindspot" continues with the theme of musical growth on the record. Even though the edge of the old version has been wiped away, the crystal clear sound on the rendition continues to illustrate how completely Brandtson has developed. Tucked deep near the end is "Margot" a power-pop bliss track jumbled with the crunch and harmony that made last years Death & Taxes a hit. The only real problem I have with the any of the twelve tracks is the closer, "The Bottle & The Sea". Instead of Porter's elegant voice there's a deep irritation that calls on Staind or Nickelback sung over continuous hum that shrieks the speakers, gaaaaaag.

It's hard to tell if Send Us A Signal will finally grant Brandtson the popularity they are entitled to, but it does help cement their credibility. There are obvious notes taken from the Get Up Kids, thanks to the appealing traces of Ed Rose, who returns once again. Despite that and the earlier comparison the assessments to Jimmy Eat World, Get Up Kids, Sense Field and their many other peers are no longer mandatory as they've garnered what it takes to be a standout in a scene that's in desperate need of a glass of water to dry its hoarse throat. Brandtson is ready for the next level, the new found diversity has sparked this band and that same variety makes this album a must have for any fan of rock music this year.


People who liked this also liked:
The Aquabats - Yo, Check Out This RideMatt Pond PA - Last LightBeastie Boys - Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That! DVDBen Kweller - Ben KwellerVarious - Hair: Chicago Punk CutsNOFX - 7 Inch of the Month Club: AprilHORSE the Band - PizzaInternational Superheroes of Hardcore - International Superheroes of HardcoreSinking Ships - DisconnectingLifetime - Somewhere in the Swamps of Jersey

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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.
Anonymous (March 26, 2005)

Just bought this today. Very good.

Anonymous (October 28, 2004)

This thing's good--I bought it. It deserves an 8, not a 7.


Anonymous (September 1, 2004)

Every album brandtson comes out with is awesome. Not many bands can do that. Especially with six albums. This one just adds to their greatness and I hope they keep doing what they do.

insinceredave (July 9, 2004)

I agree, this is suprisingly good.

Anonymous (June 21, 2004)

I love this album! They are a trully unique band with amazing vocals! There is not a single song on this album that is not completely solid. They have a really cool sound to them and in no way can you stick them in one specific genre. As a new fan of Brandtson, I am completely hooked!

Anonymous (June 21, 2004)

"M.C.S > Jealous Sound"

You can stop smoking crack anytime now.

Anonymous (June 19, 2004)

I think you're right. Listening to you really sucks.

Anonymous (June 18, 2004)

Jealous Sound better than Brandtson? HAHHAHAH JS fucking sucks. The thing Brandtson has on practically every other band in their genre is the vocals and the way they harmonize... amazing. Plus, they pull it ALL off live. Yeah I've seen them probably 5 times. Great show. This shit is better than practically anything out today. Fuck Midtown 182, fuck the Casualties, Fuck Kweller, fuck your mom.. fuck whatever you listen to. It sucks compared to Brandtson.

Anonymous (June 17, 2004)

Screamo isn't dead... It just doesn't have any scene. Most bands I consider "screamo" think they're hardcore, and there is the odd local act who wants to hit it big with chicks, so they call themselves "screamo". Other than that, most bands don't like the label. Nu-emo/screaming emo kids don't go to shows or buy very much music, so they'll never start a scene. It's a trend that will die probably the summer after they graduate from high-school and settle into other boring scene-less music.


kirbypuckett (June 17, 2004)

Yeah, I anticipated a review of "To The Five Boroughs" up on Tuesday, someone better have that for tomorow!

- Kirby

Murder_in_paint (June 17, 2004)

it is pretty good

Anonymous (June 17, 2004)

the new beastie boys album is out! woo!

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

heres my signal!

* waves middle finger.

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

"dear punk community:
please stop creaming yourselves over screamo and pick this up. it's worth it. "

I thought screamo ended after last summer, making it the shortest musical trend of all time.

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

I had really high expectations for this album but it's been a real disappointment. Outside of J.E.W. and Motion City Soundtrack it seems like very few bands are capable of writing a full album of interesting and energetic emo-pop-punk songs that go somewhere. As a mathematical equation: J.E.W. > M.C.S > Jealous Sound > Brandston. I'd gladly trade this CD for the new Bad Religion.

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

brandston fucking sucks.

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

is BRANDTSON a christian band ?

Anonymous (June 16, 2004)

it's ok. for a short while.

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

Go Cleveland

travis (June 15, 2004)

scott, what do you think of this album? I know you dislike them.
i havent picked this up yet, but probably will tomorrow.

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

I don't know about this album, but they had some darn catchy songs on their previous albums

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

shows how tastes really vary, because I find Kweller, at least all the new songs I've heard, to be completely boring, and this to be fun and exciting.

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

Better than the new Bad Religion.

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

good review.

better album.

dear punk community:
please stop creaming yourselves over screamo and pick this up. it's worth it.

indie rock is alive!

Anonymous (June 15, 2004)

All bands on Deep Elm are emo, if you look closely. That's the point.

aubin (June 15, 2004)

Despite the fact that I completely expected to dislike it - what, with a certain Kweller-lovin' critic telling me how boring they are - I ended up getting pretty addicted to this record. There are some interesting bursts of experimentation with rhythm, lots of variety in tempo and dynamics and even if those things weren't true, the melodies are really catchy without being too poppy.

I also think this band - like Slowride - is the exception to the misleading "emo" tag that is frequently attached to bands that were/are on Deep Elm.

This is good emotional rock.

kirbypuckett (June 15, 2004)

I'll send you an MP3 or two Kelly, then you can shutup.

- Kirby

inagreendase (June 15, 2004)

Probably Kirby's best review yet. Good work.

thriceequalsgod (June 15, 2004)

ehhhhh.. the review coulda been a little more specific on the sound and technicality of the album.. i don't really have an idea of what this sounds like except for that its kinda like blee- I mean, Jimmy Eat World S/t?

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