SIGNAL RISING – Novo (2012)

reviewed by Scott Fisher

Signal Rising is yet another local band destined for elevation. Their 2012 release Novo provides sufficient evidence of this. With a heavier sound, they incorporate furious guitar orchestrations similar to Breaking Benjamin with intense grooves not unlike those heard from Hoobastank and top it all off with lower-keyed, grittier vocals by Chris Pate.

Using five different producers, recording this album must’ve been quite a chore. With a little attention, you can actually hear the different influences each producer had on their respective songs, and probably even pick your favorite. At least, I believe I have…

I’ve said it before: If you’re going to have a band with two guitarists, best to have them play different parts for each song, at least some of the time. Signal Rising is fully aware of this, and Ethan Hibbeler and Lenny Palmer show it on songs like “The Trial,” “Adoration,” and “Switchblade Lies” with flair.

Filled with an atypical 12 songs instead of the usual 10, it should be easy for any fan of good music to find several selections to add to their I-Pod play list. One of my favorites is the rock ballad “Time To Go,” with its heavy Staind sound and, of course, the guitar solo. I didn’t know C.C. Deville did cameo recordings!  HA!  Seriously though, that actually IS a compliment. C.C. was always very proficient at emotional solos.

“Not Bleeding” easily can be classified as my favorite track on this CD. Heavy riffs, a blistering guitar solo (love the wah, dude), and a highly contagious groove be exploding from my earphones as I type this and make me wanna drive 120mph down a lonely freeway at night as this song pumps through the speakers. Eric Dickerson’s bass and Ryan Wood’s drums are at their tightest on this cut. And that is probably the best-sounding kick drum I’ve ever heard recorded.

Other certainly notable mentions are “Satin,” with its dreamy guitar echoes and excellent production on the vocals and guitar solos, and the CD’s other ballad, “What’s Inside,” with another great production emphasizing stark contrast between the slow guitar melody and the energetic drum pattern. Maybe a little Fallout Boy sound in there?

Like I said, the CD’s 12 tracks contain more than enough to make anybody a fan. There’s a couple songs that might seem a little bland the first few times ya play them, but I think I’d blame that on the guy that produced/recorded them. Might let that guy stay at home next time, guys. However, I would go as far to say that, if you get a chance to see these guys live, I’d go. There’s one live recording on this CD that is impressive, sho ‘nuff.



Categories: Reviews, Texas Discs

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