[19 June 2007]
Like Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and Chino Moreno of the Deftones, Tristan Shaffer of Colorado’s Signal to Noise has a weird voice, sounding grating, phlegm-clogged and more than a little roughed up by the effects of nicotine consumption on the group’s debut Kodiak. Yet, also like the above two singers, he’s an earnest rocker, urging us to “put out that cigarette and concentrate” while he and his buddies overwhelm us with jittery guitar-based energy over ten tunes. Those tracks are on a steady diet of jangly riffs (“The Wolves”, “A Mendicant”), cowbells (“The Weather Machine”) and “woahs” for endearing decoration (“Radiation”, “This Side of Texas”), that add life to their faithful, if unrefined, take on post-hardcore; even “Firework Sky”, which is supposed to be a ballad, can’t quite quiet itself past rattling drums and Shaffer’s belly-aching yelp. But it’s the fact that Kodiak’s hooks channel Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World and Sunny Day Real Estate’s genre-defining Diary that makes the Signal to Noise’s humble first steps undoubtedly cool and even promising.