LAST SECOND SIGNAL leadfoots punk-rock pedal to the metal
With their, what I would call, pop-punk-metal-alt sound, seeing and hearing this Chicago-area rock band live is like getting the adrenaline rush that happens just before you run a traffic-light change on that Last Second Signal (a.k.a "LSS")...these guys started as a band during highschool in 2006 (with the exception of the recently added bass player Curt Lundeen) hailing from some of the suburbs of Chicago, namely Schaumburg/Hanover Park. They have been billed with bands such as: The Academy Is..., We The Kings, Cute Is What We Aim For and most recently at the North Beach nightclub in Downers Grove, Illinois with Shanghai Superstars, Chris Servia & The Ivory Theory and the rockin'rolla blonde chick Val Halla (currently touring with Ted Nugent).
(images: in order of appearance Chris, Hiro, Curt, and Kevin)
Last Second Signal's punk-oriented approach to the heavy metal aspect of their all-original tunes keeps the audience in gear and ready to hit the clutch for the next song they throw out the window as they race down the road to their next musical adventure. These dudes were cruising along like a tricked out '55 Chevy on hi-octane fuel, burning rubber (or was that smell from the funky old North Beach smoke machine that belched billowy white clouds obliterating the view of the stage?)...as evidenced by the show I caught on Saturday night August 7th, 2010 at North Beach.
The boys opened with an ode to feeling lost after a bad breakup called "My Escape"...oooh been there, done that...and as a result I connected with this tune right off...it readily revealed the heavy metal influence prevalent throughout their music with the opening guitar riff (the track is available on their MySpace page). The lead vocal on this tune performed by "Hiro" (Mike Morrissey) was on the mark and enhanced by the reverb (almost overdone, which could adversely impact hearing the lyrics but was cut out for the chorus fortunately...it offered a surprisingly cool effect that was not used on the same tune's studio-track version posted on the band's Myspace page...don't know if this was intentional Man, but then maybe you were experimenting/improvising which is what live performance is all about...it kept the tune edgey...ni-i-ice). This song was, I believe, their best tune of the night and the correct one to use to kick-off the show.
With the music that followed, like their next best tune, "In Memories" (love hearing Curt Lundeen's bass exploding through it all and Chris Schmidt's haunting guitar lines here...very memorable...catches the ear and won't let go...and once again great vocals by Hiro), the beat-heavy "Summer Nights" (the band got very animated at this point, practically jumping off-stage, probably due to the great driving drum work on this tune by the self-taught Kevin McCarthy), and the introspective rock anthem "Cellar Door" ("...won't you give me the chance to be the one..."), LSS found at the back of their vehicle's glovebox some great stuff to dig out for the show...where they pulled up and parked in the space on stage to warm up the crowd right before the headliner Val Halla. They ended their set with the frenetic tune "Not A Happy Ending" which didn't come off live quite as well as their studio version in my mind, but it left the audience ready and revved up as shown by the crowd's enthusiastic response, leaving their engines idling for the headliner/final part of the 4-band show.
Don't miss these dudes, LSS, an original rock music talent...they will be appearing in the coming days at Penny Road Pub in Barrington during August and at the Cubby Bear in ChiTown come September. Set your cruise-control on auto and program your GPS navigator for at least one of these venues as you keep your foot on that adrenaline-rush-ready-accelerator so you can be sure to make that...Last Second Signal. (Note: LSS has a new four song EP coming in the summer of 2010 with their first full length album expected for release in 2011) 'Nuff Sed.
August 13, 2010
Penny Road Pub
Mike(Hiro)Morrissey-lead guitar/lead vocals
Video of Last Second Signal performing their original "Until I Die":