Album Reviews

Signal Red – Under The Radar Review

Relesaed by: Escape Music

Release Date: February 23rd, 2013

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock

Links: http://www.escape-music.com

 

Line Up:

Lee Small: Lead vocals and All Backing vocals (Phenomena / Shy)
Steve Grocott: All guitars, Keyboards, Strings (Ten)
Brian J Anthony: Bass (Steve Walsh)
Dave Anthony: Drums (Dennis DeYoung)

 

Tracklist:

1. Defiant 4:36
2. Houdini 4:05
3. Stronger 4:57
4. Tell It To The Bees 3:57
5. Monster Truck 5:15
6. Pyramids Of Mars 4:44
7. Emotions In Motion 4:25
8. Highwire 4:40
9. Making Contact 4:15
10. Goth The Girl 4:04
11. The Time Machine 7:59

 

Usually for the “Shadow Editor” to come out of retirement and from the lurk of the shadows where he delves, it has to be due to a certain critique that has to make itself known. Usually a bloody great album calls me out of the dark and into the light. This has happened very early this year with a new outfit from UK featuring, Steve Grocott (Ten) and Vocalist Lee Small (Phenomena / Shy / Lionheart).

The very indie label Escape music has churned out some great Melodic/Hard Rock releases through the years, and this by Signal Red is among the top of anything I heard from them. I had no expectations on this one, listening to tons of music every week does that to you, you heard it once you heard it all, or what was that quote from the creepy and ghastly Stanley Kubrick that said “Everything has already been done, every story has been told every scene has been shot. It’s our job to do it one better.” Yeah well don’t tell that to Signal Red, this is damn good record and it’s refreshing heavy hitting Melodic Hard Rock, with tons of power on all levels, not all Melodic Hard Rock is built the same.

For those that don’t know Lee Small, the man is a brilliant vocalist, you will probably have heard of his work with UK Hard Rock band Shy, a breakthrough for him on many levels, thankfully he is still around fermenting great music, even if it takes him a bit to re-appear from obscurity. His voice can best be described as a mix of Glenn Hughes soulful jibes, strong metal-esque range ala Lance King and throw in a little Chris Ousey tuneful spark. What a comparison no? Regardless is not just the vocals here, their new album “Under The Radar” boasts some incredibly high tempo flying guitars and rhythm and bass, enslaving the listener from the very first tune.

The record kicks starts your heart with “Defiant”, hell of a jump start here man, totally hooked from the beginning, guitars and vocals ready and amped shoot out like a bat out of hell. The next two tunes leave you breathless, non stop melodic prodigious bliss.

Steve Grocott is terrific, underrated guitar player, the keen changes of tempo between the songs here just scream out class, great job, looks like they took a while to get this one done and for good reason. Every beat, every rhythm just works in sync with the overall feel of the record.

The trip keeps riding along nicely with “Monster Truck”, another example of both melody and crushing backbone rhythm, Lee’s vocals take the cake again, solid tune with Journey-esque guitars. An enigmatic sound erupts at the beginning of “Pyramid of Mars”, then your ears get crushed again, as lyrics travelling through time and space, and superior technology I can’t tell if I’m listening to Hughes or Lance King, dammit I don’t care this is fucking good!!! 

After things calm down and we check to see if your “Emotions” are in check in “Emotions In Motion”, the recurrent edgy sound comes back and reinforces itself purposely in “Highwire” and the exquisite “Making Contact”, with some delightful keys setting the mood just right. Final two epics songs come at ya with the strangely aptly titled “Goth the Girl” delivering onto the finale of “The Time Machine” that creeps with escalating anticipation that this great album is coming to an end.

This is a journey through time and space, and signals of futuristic hope. A nice little story line, but the real deal is the music, just fantastic up tempo stuff from all in the band. Just one of those albums you wont hear much from around the music scene, but damn it is superbly done, solid writing, and the orchestration is just relentlessly epic from top to bottom. Great job Steve and Lee what a combo, please don’t disappear of the face of the earth, stick around this music deserves to be discovered and so does your marvelous work, sending a signal up to space and come down back to Earth, listen to Signal Red, you may like what you find. Right now this ranks in my top albums of the year, and is early when the Shadow Editor speaks, you can take it to bank okay? dilly dilly, ohh screw it just get it when it comes out on February 23rd.

 

Written by: Shadow Editor

Rating 10/10

Editors Pick EditorPick Rex Brown - Smoke On This Review

 

 


 

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