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Voice In The Wire: Signals In TransmissionSignals In Transmission (2004)
Reviewer Rating: 4
Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Driving into Pittsburgh, PA from the north will have you following Interstate 79 South. As your trip nears its conclusion you follow a curve in the road and what appears to be from heaven, the city’s beautiful skyline unfolds in front of your windshield. The Steel City’s very own Voice in the Wire’s debut album Signals in Transmission opens just like seeing the ‘Burgh for the first time. Dual guitars glide in “Ash Black” before the onslaught of bass and drum come speeding by honking their horns and flipping a finger as you slowly awe over the introductory splendor. The quintet adds a pop charisma to hardcore/punk ala Lifetime, but keeping the rough edges of Kid Dynamite, and maintaining the raw power of pioneered by Minor Threat.
“Knives” makes way for a chorus blitz, in the same vein as the chanting for the Steelers to “get one for the thumb.” The harder edge of “Lives Lived in Verses” is rugged like the potholes and crumbling pavement that greet every new comer with a flat tire. Driving up East Carson Street away from the boy’s homes in the South Side you’ll drive past a Hard Rock Café and it’s built there for a reason -- because we have licks! After the shredding intro riffs of “Follow the Trail of The Psyched” fade, a sassy solo screams from the brakes public transportation system. Bellowing from the heights of Mt. Washington is a slick drum intro on “Under the Pavement” from Jeff Kopanic making way for Mike Rock, Jake Reinhart, and Stephen McMillan to shake your head in a post-hardcore frenzy seeking that last drop of Heinz Ketchup from the bottle. I can feel the sweat dripping down my face already as I sing along to the instant live hit, “How It Works” with my friends at the Mr. Roboto Project.
Subject to popular belief, we’re friendly people here, so be sure to say ‘hi’ to the locals while you’re in town. Chris Barker, #2 of Anti-Flag might sound angry with his screams on the rapid guitar driven “Mark Each Word” but underneath all that distortion he’s a sincere guy. Jason Sevechuck (Kid Dynamite, None More Black) is hanging out down at Primantis and he’s not choking on coleslaw and french-fries either, his voice is that tough wailing in the background on “Second Story” and “Better Days.” VITW vocalist Zack Furness has learned a lot from Mr. Sevechuck as his vocals are tough as steel beams, but go down easy like a cold Iron City beer.
In Pittsburgh we wear our pride on our sleeves and influences from Whatever It Takes, Teddy Du-Champ’s Army through Don Caballero are clearly displayed within the thirty-six minutes of Signals in Transmission.” Specifically on the closer “Steeltown Fight Song” the perfect chorus laden anthem dedicated to our niche in Western Pennsylvania. We’re not without our flaws – detours everywhere, a terrible baseball team, too close to Cleveland, and the inability to buy alcohol in a store damper the town, but we’re a proud city and one that supports Voice in the Wire from the bottom of our hearts.
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