You know that feeling when you find a new band that you just know every fan of its genre will absolutely love? Where you can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who is fond of the genre because they are just the best at what it’s all about? Well, I can attest with confidence: anyone who likes post metal will like OK WAIT and Signal is just the place to start listening.
I got this one recommended by other members of the site and decided to check it out, and soon after hitting play I was met with the kickass drums, groovy basslines and hard riffs in “Escape”. It instantly pulled me in and got me thinking ‘ah, this is my kind of post metal’. While their first record Well was more along the line of experimental post rock, the German trio branches out and embrace many post metal elements and even some shoegazey moments in Signal, while retaining the playfullness and knack for experimentation presented on their debut. I would say this one is a more straightforward record in its approach, even if it still has lots of layers for avid listeners to peel and discover.
Post metal and post rock records tend to begin with introspective tracks, like slower, nicer melodies that evolve into more energy-fueled songs. OK WAIT said scratch that and decided to hit you with three straight bangers in “Escape”, “Letter” and “Damage”. It’s quite unlikely not to find yourself swaying your head over many of the sections within these songs.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve heard music that evoked this surge, this raw, primal feeling in which every single note and every single second feels absolutely crucial to each song. Many bands aim to create music in which the instruments blend in with each other to create something that works as a whole. In Signal, it’s like each instrument played is a different entity, bursting with its own identity. These entities clash and play off of each other during the songs, and while they do sound masterful individually, it’s way they interact that grab you and gives birth to a whole new monster. The only other band I’ve ever heard that achieves something similar to what I’m trying to say is Russian Circles.
“Return” follows as the slow, sludgy song that is a (heavy) moment of pause before “Horses” (which we premiered here) comes in with a bassline that is just instantly iconic. “Switch” is a very riff-centered song that will have you bobbing your head from beginning to end. “Sirens” is a true post rock epic, a long piece that along with closers “Mantra” and “Dejavu”, focuses on more melodic passages that echo the best of what shoegaze has to offer and end the album on a high note.
The musicianship in Signal is outstanding. It truly makes you think at how much can be achieved with just guitars, drums and bass when there is a ton of talent and passion involved. You can listen to the album multiple times, focusing on different instruments, and find new layers every time. OK WAIT truly feel like a band where all the members are equally important to the core sound’s DNA – remove one of them, and it’s no longer the same thing. Perhaps it is due to their time together as the former Sonic Black Holes, but there is no denying they’ve truly honed their ability to sound as a unity. The band is as tight and cohesive as a group of people can get.
I could sum all of this up with a simple phrase: Signal is really awesome. It’s got great songs that deliver on every aspect, astounding musicianship, fantastic production, and tons of soul poured into it. It’s a testament to how good instrumental music can get and anyone looking for good, honest music should keep it on their radar. Seriously, go ahead and check this out.