Meet the Band: Max Stern (vocals, guitar), Steve Gibson (drums, vocals), Loren Shumaker (bass, vocals), Jeff Russell (guitar).
More Chords: Signals Midwest grew up on steady diet of pop-punk pioneers like Green Day and Blink-182 but expand that sound when it comes to their own music. "We discovered that you could do more with punk rock than just three chords," says Stern. "We still love that stuff, but I guess it's progressed a little bit more. We like crazy, noodly guitar solos as much as traditional pop-punk stuff."
Almost Prog: Signals Midwest are no strangers to the occasional tricky and shifting time signature. Stern is particularly proud of "Limnology," a highlight of their latest album Latitudes and Longitudes. "We get geeky over things like that," he says. "There are a million different parts to it, but it all comes together."
Sunny and Share: Stern says the band is at its happiest in front of a crowd. "The best kinds of shows are the ones where the lines between the band and the audience blur, with everyone crowded around and singing," he says. "If people see us, I hope they feel welcome and that they're part of something."
Why You Should Hear Them: The Cleveland quartet brings a fresh perspective to the mostly played-out pop-punk scene. Over the past four years, they've released two records and deservedly landed on Alternative Press' "100 bands to Check Out in 2012" list.
Where You Can Hear Them: signalsmidwest.tumblr.com
Where You Can See Them: At Now That's Class on August 12. — Norm Narvaja