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Embers by ”No Signal”

The best bands to come out of Colorado tend to be a bit all over the place. For the millennial generation, it was 3OH!3, a band that has aged perfectly well that nobody ever got instantly sick of, but such indie acts as Earth, Wind, and Fire as well as John Denver also called the state their birthplace, as did The Fray and The Lumineers, and there’s not exactly a definitive through-line that goes across all of these bands without asking major questions. A newer band based out of the Centennial State, though, is still working out the kinks of arriving on the scene. No Signal is a rock trio based out of Boulder, CO, and they very well could be the next big thing.

Not only have No Signal teamed up with three-time Grammy Award-winning producer David Bottrill (from Muse and Tool fame, among other things) for their sophomore full-length album, but their first single off of the album is from seven-time Grammy Award-winning mixer Brian Vibberts (Michael Jackson, Clapton, Green Day, etc.)

 Straight out of the gate, the power dynamic in indie rock music feels destined to shift and change to No Signal’s every whim, and with the aforementioned single, known as “Embers,” it’s apparent that the band feels this way, too. It’s hard to pin No Signal’s influences down as they carry themselves in such a poignant, refreshing way — there’s never any pandering or derivative pieces, and the song never loses its cool, calm exterior even in the face of incendiary guitar solos and a slow build of the band’s intricate instrumental. “Embers” has an album cover that depicts the Colorado wildfires, with the photography done by lead singer Riley Schmelzer himself, and after hearing the single even only once, listeners will be able to determine why that is.

No Signal is a breath of fresh air on the rock scene, and that might be in part due to their young ages (Schmelzer is nineteen, drummer Nic Kubes is twenty-one, and bassist Jake DeMarco is twenty) building up new roads for their careers to follow. It’s not every day you’re able to stumble across a band led by three extremely talented young men with a hunger in their eyes that matches their skill, but No Signal proves that it’s not impossible. While their upcoming album still doesn’t have a set title or release date beyond Fall 2023, “Embers” feels like a complete summary of what it means to be a young band emerging from a pandemic into a world of creative uncertainty; there’s no surefire way to do anything anymore, and “Embers” captures that feeling perfectly. No Signal is well aware of the odds, and “Embers” proves that they can shift their probability of success without shifting their vision or their refined production style and sound — they’re a young band full of potential and it’s rare to get a single from a band that showcases exactly what they’re capable of. Thankfully, rare is not impossible.

Mindy McCall



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