Above the sea of neck tattoos and back patches, I can only see Signal Lost
singer Ashley Marshall pop up and down. So often, in fact, I begin to wonder if there's a trampoline I can't see. Signal Lost has lots of fans. Besides maybe Hermosa Beach in 1981, Room 710 is pretty much the perfect place for Signal Lost to play. Energetic, anthemic, all those things you like from punk rock, right?
The 4-year-old quartet is on Prank Records, once home to Kylesa and personal Schadenfreude favorite Guyana Punch Line, but they don’t sound like a typical Prank band. Instead of blast beats or unintelligible screams, they run through pop, thrash, and punk, and count bands like J Church, Severed Head of State, Deaththreat, Balance of Terror, and Storm the Tower among the branches of their family tree. Marshall's vocal range veers from a gruff howl to a Siouxsie-esque bellow and their politi-punk leanings could throw them in the pit with the anarcho ranks of Crass Records. But there's something distinctly Texas about them.
is their latest LP. Produced by the ubiquitous Chris "Frenchie" Smith, there's a definite sheen to the new songs, as opposed to 2005's Children of the Wasteland
. Funny enough, perhaps because there are two women in the band (Marshall and bassist Jasmine Mayberry) under the "sounds like" category on their MySpace is the phrase “Your girlfriend would like it.”
“That’s kinda just an inside joke from our European tour,” Marshall explains. “We played with a lot of hardcore type bands, and after we'd finish our set each night, older punks would walk up to us and say things like, ‘I like you guys. It’s different and I can dance to it.’ I'm pretty sure that on our last tour I was approached by a different guy each night who said something along the lines of, 'My girlfriend really likes you!’ I couldn’t help but wonder, where are all these girlfriends?”
Didn't seem to be a problem last night. Signal Lost heads out on a West Coast tour next week, and the play list for the van is quite telling. “Every time we cram into that van, we listen to the same tapes,” Marshall laughs. “It wouldn’t be a Signal Lost tour without Zounds, Wipers, Leatherface, Big Boys, Post Regiment, La Fraction, the Mob. And when things get tense we can always depend on some Dead Milkmen to lighten the mood.”