Devour the Day has been one of my favorite bands ever since I heard “Good Man” on the radio. I had a burned copy of Time and Pressure that always turned sour days happy. S.O.A.R. took me by surprise when it was released, but it grew on me. They were one of the first bands my wife and I saw live, and they put on a fantastic show.
Over the summer, when I was patrolling the Facebook pages of numerous bands, hoping to see an announcement of new music, I was happy to find that Devour the Day was planning on releasing a new record soon. The only question was when. Finally, this weekend, Signals arrived in my mailbox, and it was worth the wait.
My first time though Signals prompted me to go back to the beginning of the album and listen again. The album does not go in an intuitive direction. Moreover, it is not the type of album I expected from Devour the Day. That being said, the record is good. On the musical front, they spliced together the heavy sound they trademarked on Time and Pressure with some of the elements from S.O.A.R. Their lyrics are smart, and timely as always.
I think Signals is a spiritual album. I don’t think this album is “religious” in any sense, rather it endeavors to create a contemplative atmosphere. The lyrics have notions of spirituality sprinkled over them. Additionally, the music meshes with the emotions and ideas discussed in the songs, fostering an environment that is focused on the listener and their relationship to music.
In “Faithless” the band tries to get the listener to reflect on their inaction. This song seems to be a response to the unending stream of angry posts online demanding change of some kind. “Into the Night” sounds like a song about music. In the chorus, vocalist Blake Allison sings about “A signal breaking the silence, to lead me home again”. I interpret this as a cry for music to save the day and help him find his way again. Notice, if the “signal” mentioned here is really a reference to music, the title of the album suddenly makes a lot more sense.
There are two instrumental tracks on this album, given the short run time of Signals, this seems like an odd choice. “Red Flower” serves as an introduction to “Headspill” and “Under the Overpass” works as an “outro”. However, I feel that these songs are designed as reflective moments hidden in the chaos of the album. These songs are smoother, restrained and less boisterous than other “fast ‘n’ heavy” tracks. The main riff in “Under the Overpass” almost seems to speak out to the listener in a quizzical manner.
Songs Worth Investigating
“The Censor” and “Faithless” are the two singles that dropped before the record. Both are great, “classic-Devour-the-Day” songs. They’re fun rock songs with smart lyrics and crunching guitars. However, “Into the Night” really caught my attention. As I mentioned above, it’s a song that begs for rescue, which is something everyone can relate to from time to time.
And to Conclude…
After listening to Signals a few times, I think Devour the Day is trying to get their listeners to think and reflect. Perhaps, they want their listeners to develop a stronger relationship with music. Perhaps, they are urging their listeners to wrap themselves in a thoughtful blanket, so they can combat the inaction and mundane routines mentioned in “Faithless”.