Albatross Sessions

Signal To Trust

Snappy Little Numbers Records, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


For every globally recognized band from Minneapolis that we all adore, there are at least a dozen more that are equally great, yet reside in relative obscurity. Signal To Trust, who arose from the ashes of The Misfires, is certainly heroes of the underground punk scene from the early 2000s, and Albatross Sessions was actually slated to be their debut album. Now available for the first time publicly, this shelved session documents the band in their infancy and lays the groundwork for the greatness ahead in their time together. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“D, D, Don't Go Back” starts the listen with just firm guitar and plenty of space before building into a raw yet melodic version of post-punk that sounds quite at home in the early 2000s, as does the jangly and angular “My Walkman Goes Loud” that bristles with grit and plenty of tuneful racket.

The middle of the listen brings the rumbling bass and swift melodies of “I Don't Want To Be A Waist” as well as the jagged, furious “A Letter To The Editors,” where the band's hardcore sensibilities won't go unnoticed. Pacing Pacing Pacing,” one of the longest tunes at two-and-a-half minutes, then pairs meticulous bass work with swirling guitar as both post-hardcore and emo are touched upon with grace and intensity.

Approaching the end, the shimmering instrumental “The Ultimate Nullifier” embraces some post-rock tendencies, and the bouncy “Yellow Soldiers” approaches a firmness and nearly manic yelping that wouldn't be out of place on a bill with The Nation Of Ulysses. “Brushing My Teeth Is Boring” exits the listen, and it puts a firm exclamation point on the listen with the band's rugged, adventurous and multifaceted version of punk that sounds as great today as it did 21 years ago. 

Laid down with their original singer, Brandon Rouse, this was intended to be Signal To Trust's first LP, but it wasn't long after this was recorded that Rouse left the band. Brian Severns would replace Rouse on vocals and the band would become heroes of the Midwest DIY scene, releasing a pair of albums and playing countless shows up until the early 2010s before going inactive.

Rating: A-

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