Searching for Signal, It’s So Bright

Searching for Signal, It's So Bright

More than anything else, Searching for Signal’s new EP, It’s So Bright, feels, well, deliberate. Each note feels carefully selected and placed right where guitarists Matthew Salois and Michael Aziari want them to be, anchored from floating off on its own by Benny Edaburn’s drums and John Wilhelm’s bass. The three tracks on It’s So Bright feel less like songs and more like compositions.

Not that that’s a bad thing, of course. The music flows beautifully, gently winding its way in and out, soaring when it needs to and swooping down low when it needs to do that, too. Where there’s usually at least a bit of chaos, a bit of just-in-check fury behind most atmospheric post-rock bands like this one — and make no mistake, “post-rock” is what these guys are now, the candy-coated indie-pop of their self-titled debut left behind.

Here, though, there’s no storm brewing behind the echoey notes, no clenched fists against the sky, but rather a gentleness that runs throughout, this sort of vibe like the guys in the band have to play quietly, delicately, even when the guitars are roaring and Marshall-stacks loud (as they are on the first two tracks, to varying degrees), or the whole thing will crumble into broken shards of glass scattered across the floor.

Opener “Like a Feather” is probably the best example, drifting along smoothly like a finely-calibrated machine riding a track only it knows. The guitars simmer and shift, diving sideways into great little jazz-y melodies like the little “verse” melody that’s tucked away in there, or the cascading “waterfall” bit further in. Bright invites repeated listenings to dig out all the little nuances, even after you think you’ve finally caught ’em all.

Salois’s vocals remind me pleasantly of Chris Higdon from Elliott (although not quite as operatic), with an odd twinge of the Riff Tiffs’ Chris Rehm thrown in there for good measure. I couldn’t tell you what he’s singing, though, despite multiple runs through the three-song EP, because honestly, that’s not really the focus of the music. It’s that gentle swoon that’s the heart of things, and the band’s intricate movements — they seem to scarcely repeat a motif for long, not even within the same song — point inexorably back at that.

Where a band like Golden Cities, Explosions in the Sky, or Co-Pilot threatens, just over the horizon, ominous and heavy and not entirely predictable, Searching for Signal is the sound of the morning after the storm, that crystalline moment when the sun comes up and reveals that yes, the world’s still there, just like you left it.

[Searching for Signal is playing 9/26/09 at Bohemeo's.]
(self-released; Searching for Signal -- http://www.myspace.com/thesearchingforsignal)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Friday, September 18th, 2009. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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