Review: Signal Red – Under The Radar
Escape Music (Febuary 23rd 2018)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
Another new name on the scene, Signal Red are a UK Melodic Rock band with a bit of bite to them, but once again this is a project that contains some very well known names on the Melodic Rock Scene. On vocals is none other than Lee Small (Lionheart/Phenomena/SHY) and on Guitars & Keyboards we’ve got Steve Grocott (TEN). Lee has not only been one of the most distinctive sounding voices but also one of the best singers in Melodic Rock for many years now.
The musical style here is very much in the wheelhouse of the musicians, a little lighter than the work Grocott does with TEN and spot on for Small, it just sounds so natural for these guys and with the lineup being rounded out by Brian and Dave Anthony, Bass and Drums respectively.
Having listened to the album a lot over the last few weeks one thing is evident the quality just shines through, not surprising really, but even though the overall sound falls into a similar style bracket throughout the album there is a really nice variance to the songs themselves, from subject matter to pace.
Of the eleven tracks on offer here you could honestly pick many highlights, and there is also an impression that the longer you live with this one the more your favourite tracks will change. One song however refuses to be ignored on each listen, the closer, and what a cracking way to end the album, ‘The Time Machine‘ is an eight minute epic which floats between melodic rock and progressive rock without blinking, some wonderful guitar work and a very mature feel to the song. Alongside it some other standouts are the punchy opener “Defiant” which really kicks things off in a rocking way, like most of the tracks Grocott’s skills are very evident, with solos a plenty. Being a bit of a sucker for a ballad ‘Emotions Of Motion‘ grabbed me and stuck with me, this time the soulful tones of Smalls exceptional vocals are in full effect.
There is a wonderful marriage here between Lee’s voice and Steve’s guitar tone, neither are too high when they put down the power, the solos are screaming without going over the top, and this creates a great balance throughout. As would be expected with the two main protagonists being a singer and a guitar player they are the instruments that are to the fore in the mix, but the guys are very ably backed up by a solid rhythm section in the Anthony’s.
Signal Red is another project that we hope there will be more from in the future, would be great to hear some of these songs in a live environment. Any Melodic Rock fan should check this album out, it’s really got some exceptional work on it and certainly one of the best releases of the year so far, love it.