Released on September 8th, Smoke Signals is an EP heavy with meaning – the title of the four track collection derives from the an idea important to most bands trying to break into the alternative rock genre. Frontman Tom Buxton states, “our lyrics tackle the topic of how are new bands meant to get on the map. We want to broadcast ourselves, we want to be heard.” Even the name of the band hold depth, taken from word poet Anis Mojgani’s work Milos. In response to the line the title derives from (“Run through these streets with me with a bucket full of gasoline and a mouth full of matches”), Tom muses, “we translated it as being about chasing your dreams and ambitions, trying to make them real. That’s what we’re all about, and we are a very passionate band.”
The offering does exactly what it sets out to do; it’s much different from the usual alternative rock music you hear. What the sound many bands use to start a catchy interlude, A Mouth Full Of Matches extend into a full EP, commencing with Danger High, which from its slow and gradual beginnings sets the tone for the release. Tom’s vocal work initially slots somewhere between lyrical and instrumental, before the defining riffs of the record pull in and the track takes shape. Anthemic vocals on refrain, “no matter where I go, your heart still feels like home”, make this track instantly addictive, imploring you to keep listening.
One By One easily makes it as my personal favourite off the release; with an opening that sets the track up to be a single, its accessible sound and contagious chorus makes the song catchy as hell. It demands to be heard loud and sung along to, with a more electric slant coming into the middle eight and in turn separating the track further from a “typical” alternative rock band.
The second half of the EP opens with Wait For Me, with a different vocal style accompanying the bolder intro preventing the record from sounding too samesome throughout. The most noticeable aspect of this track is the continued repetition of “should we sink or swim?”; whilst at first it could be brushed off, the constant repetition results in questioning whether this was taken from Bring Me The Horizon’s Sleepwalking track (“should I sink, or swim, or simply disappear?”), and this become the defining feature of the song. With pacier and more prominent drums, the closing track of the EP, Young Blood, brings a rockier and sharper edge to the track. Clearer vocals combine with a more solid layer to create a mixed yet tightly executed sound, rounding the release to a powerful finale.
The band wanted to create an EP that stood out, and they’ve achieved that brilliantly. Expect big things from this band – absolutely remarkable.