Brent Brosnan, Matt Madsen, Brodie Heidtmann, and Callum McDonald are Signs & Symbols. The members were friends before they were a band and became more proficient at their instruments as they time went by. It didn’t take too long for the band to play shows. More shows led to more shows and more songs. The band was thriving from word of mouth but eventually came a time when the band needed to put something to tape. After much debate about what songs to put on their self-titled release the band settled on eight songs.
Signs & Symbols are a no frills rock/alternative album that sticks to the basics. Catchy melodies, predictable rock structure and a good amount of energy. Their music falls in line with acts like The Foo Fighters and The Arctic MOnkeys where distortion and hummable melodies are king.
The band kicks things off with “Alive & Paralyzed” which certainly has elements of 90’s alternative rock. I was immediately attracted to the guitar parts on the song. Besides the vocals this was the element that my ears kept being attracted towards. Around the two minute mark it goes into a breakdown that is simmering with tension the moment it happens. The explosion was obvious but still comes out of nowhere.
“Fat Cats & Radio Spat” is a great name for a song first of all. The chorus is damn catchy on this song. You don't have to wait too long to get there either. The band transitions to verse to chorus and back again without letting much time elapse.
“Go” is an adrenaline induced rock song while “Hysteria” is more melodic and doesn’t rely on as much distortion and intensity. The band does sound good when they display some restraint on songs such as “Yesterday's Casualty”. They close with “Clarity” which is a triumphant sounding song that is arguably the highlight of the album.
I would have liked to hear a bit more experimentation at points but the band seems more focused on making palatable rock songs that can be heard from a large demographic. At the end of the day I think they accomplished that.
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