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First Signal - Closer To The Edge

First Signal
Closer To The Edge
by Kevin Lewis at 08 May 2022, 4:04 AM

FIRST SIGNAL is a musical project founded around 2010 by Harry Hess (HAREM SCAREM) and Swedish drummer Daniel Flores (THE MURDER OF MY SWEET, FIND ME). Closer To The Edge is their fourth album. Released on April 8, 2022, via Frontier Records, it is an AOR styled hard rock record with some heavy influences from 1980s keyboards driven bands. The record starts with “Don’t Let It End,” a keyboard heavy tune with a catchy guitar riff. Using a lot of layered vocals, they create a bigger sound through the chorus, giving it a bit extra. The shift for the pre-chorus sets the chorus up pretty well. None of the changes in phrasing are extreme, so there are no real surprises here. This is pretty indicative of what the rest of the record sounds like.

Many of the songs have a similar lyrical theme to the opening track. This is a record that seems to be about the focus on one’s significant other and the desire for this relationship to work. “Irreplaceable” and “Angel With A Rose” both feel very much like odes to the other half of the writers heart. “Angel With A Rose” is the definitive ballad on this record. “The Hurting One” is just a bit heavier in some sections, but doesn’t go too far afield from the rest of the record. Harry drops his voice a bit into a lower register to help you feel some of the pain this song is about. It’s a good use of vocal variation to give a much more emotional feel to the song.

The album wraps on “Got To Believe,” another keyboard heavy song with a ballad style opening. The kick into the main body of the song gives it more of the power ballad feel, though. Again, this is lyrically hoping for the relationship to work and trying to avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur. The composition is more uplifting and the guitar solo is passionate and positive in the tone.

FIRST SIGNAL is somewhere between Power Pop and Hard Rock. They fill that niche effectively, writing songs that are mostly “feel-good” pieces meant to make the listener happy. The 80s influences are all over this disc and a great throwback to that bygone era of happy rock. It’s a good album to listen to when you need to feel better. This is the one that will help lift your spirits.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Don't Let It End
2. I Don't Wanna Feel The Night Is Over
3. Show Me The Way
4. Don't Look Away
5. Irreplaceable
6. One More Time
7. Closer To The Edge
8. Angel With A Rose
9. Mystery
10. The Hurting One
11. Got To Believe
Lineup:
Harry Hess – Vocals
Daniel Flores – Drums
Andi Kravljaca – Guitars
Jonny Trobro – Bass
Record Label: Frontiers Music
     


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