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Send Us a Signal

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Album Review

If this power pop quartet sounds like a group of seasoned rock & roll professionals, there's a reason for that: Send Us a Signal is Brandtson's seventh album since the band formed in 1998, and it shows the fruits of the group's hard years on the road and its longstanding relationship with producer Ed Rose. Thanks to the latter, the album's sound is absolutely perfect: it's dense but tight, crunchy but sweet, carefully designed to maximize the guitar power without compromising sonic clarity. And thanks to the former, the songs are almost perfect: also carefully crafted but emotionally immediate and accessible; melodic without being cloying or too anthemic. The only thing missing are really indelible hooks. As attractive as numbers like the barnburning "Who Are You Now?" and the punky (and nicely titled) "C'mon Fascista" are, they don't exactly sport melodies that are going to stick in your head for very long. But while you're listening you'll be having a great time, and that's more than you can say for about 80 percent of the guitar bands out there on any given day. Recommended.


Formed: 1996 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Cleveland emo quartet Brandtson was originally comprised of singer/guitarist Myk Porter, guitarist Matt Traxler, bassist John Sayre, and singer/drummer Jared Jolley. After appearing on Steadfast Records' Radiowaves and Gibberish various-artists compilation in 1997, the group signed with Deep Elm, contributing to the label samplers Records for the Working Class and A Million Miles Away: Emo Diaries, Vol. 2 before closing out 1998 with their debut full-length, Letterbox. The second Brandtson LP, Fallen...
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