Written By: James Swigart
Label: Rock Ridge – Rating:
Beau Tyler has the voice of and the vocal presence of an older, much more experienced singer. His pleasing rasp throughout Rescue Signals’s gripping, nuanced Indecisions is reminiscent of that shown by the nonpareil Ian McCulloch on Echo and the Bunnymen’s new, savagely brilliant single “Think I Need It Too.” Tyler frequently channels the almost criminally hypnotic Bryan Adams with ease.
His and Noah Galaviz’s guitars are often beautiful and always arresting. Guitar effects on “Every Word You Said” are stunning. Staccato riffs and swirling guitar are prevalent in “Tell Me That You’re Wrong.” The swirling guitar brings to mind Robert Smith. Bryan Nicholas’s drumming keeps a slow, patient beat when the song demands it.
Nicholas’s drumming shows great versatility and maturity throughout Indecisions, original and extraordinary, it places a base beneath the music that is indispensable. The best thing about Nicholas’s drumming is that it doesn’t command our attention. We have recently learned that Nicholas has left Rescue Signals. A pity. When we hear Mike Marhefka’s bass guitar, it is subtle and appropriate.
“California” is drumless and reminds us of “Disarm,” the beautiful Smashing Pumpkins classic. On the rock anthem “Angel,” Tyler shows excellent vocal range that includes a few a alarmingly effective falsetto pieces. Staccato riffs and urgent vocals reminiscent of Kim Gordon grab and hold us at the beginning of “Carousel.” “Carousel” features some more falsetto and rocks hard and free like signature Foreigner and Who.
“Favorite Kind of Pain” drives us with powerful guitar, harmonies reminiscent of Van Halen at that band’s zenith, and ferocious, smartly varied drums. “Up On A Wire” begins and goes on without drums for a decent stretch. When the drums begin, they add depth and power. Tyler’s vocals are greatly varied and this vocal range is reminiscent of that shown by Tom Petty while Petty was a much younger man.
“She Puts the Needle in Her Arms and Swears She’s Not Addicted” are the lyrics that begin a slower version of the Pornography era, Cure-like tune “She Writes Love.” When guitar chords hit us after a little while, we’re relieved. Anything to break the tension of the vocals. The harmonies are brilliant. Tyler’s vocals keep us at an emotional pitch similar to that granted us by McCulloch, Smith, Gordon, Gramm, and Daltrey at their best. “You Never Touch Me Anymore” ends the album and is a drumless acoustic guitars and harmonies fest.
Indecisions sounds like an album Bryan Adams or Lou Gramm, Mick Jones, and the rest of Foreigner would have made if they were now in their prime. Indecisions has a distinctly American sound reminiscent of the best John Mellencamp, Van Halen, and R.E.M. We hope that Rescue Signals has an impact at least close to that of these artists.