21 Aug 2019

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Michael Signal - EP Review: Direct Injection

21 Aug 2018 // A review by Carl Hayman

Take the members of Motley Crue, slide an IV Drip into their veins, fill the bag with pure full caffeinated coffee, then let them write an album. That’s probably the best description I can come up with for this EP.

The first tune License To Thrill has the most intense guitar lines I’ve heard this decade (sorry to all my great guitarist mates). They are layered with amazing precision that you don’t really need the vocal line; however, they have been carefully shaped to integrate a vocal line that really makes this tune something else. If I would describe it in a one liner, I’d say is ‘fuelled by awesome’.

License to Thrill flows on nicely into the second tune Rock You Like A Hurricane. Now here’s a big call .. I’ve heard this tune before on The Rock, I seem to recall Bryce Casey singing it while supporting The Hurricane’s rugby team. It’s mammoth! So well written and mixed that I genuinely thought this was an American band. Most people don’t think this means much, but to a Kiwi musician who has heard a recorded tune or 50, NZ music generally has its own sound, and to be compared against a population 65 times the size of ours at the elite end, that’s definitely something.

Track three Illusion is instrumental. It’s a definitely a tune to pour yourself a nice single malt whiskey to and shut your eyes to. It’s not a whole bunch of shred, it’s careful, precise, and melodic, but placed so nicely over a simple yet effective rhythm line underneath. It’s not too long either – 2 minutes 24 is all it needs to be.

The last song off the EP is The Lone Wolf, which is exactly what Michael Signal is. I don’t want to compare him to Dave Grohl, but that’s who most of you will picture when I say that he wrote and played every instrument on the album. The drum lines have been written to compliment the rhythm of the guitar nicely, you can hear the kicks actively working hard underneath to keep the groove flowing. The Lone Wolf has a nice breakdown around the 3 minutes 40 mark, down to just a couple of guitars working together into a solo that is quite mismatched from the rest of the song but in a clever way, leading into a nice key change to see the tune out.

All in all, This album sounds like what I feel like after 4 Jagerbombs. Pure awesome, with a big shot of adrenaline. Add together some nitromethane, some burning rubber, 4000 horsepower, and some ignition, and that’s pretty much this EP summed up. Great work Michael (and I won't leave out Julian Angel who mixed most of it and played additional gats on License To Thrill and Rock You Like A Hurricane).

Review written by Carl Hayman


About Michael Signal

Michael Signal is a New Zealand hard rock guitarist & songwriter influenced by LA metal & classic rock.

Having been in numerous original bands & cover projects throughout his music career, Michael has just released a digital EP to promote his upcoming debut solo album Direct Injection due out by the end of 2018.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Michael Signal


Direct Injection
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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