The act of being alone, of sitting with yourself, is something to be endured. And to endure it well, to stay occupied, contentedly, is an ability not necessarily possessed by everyone. Such grim considerations that no one ever seems openly willing to consider, are confronted head-on by Brooklyn punks SIGNAL, in their new single, “Dorks On Bikes.” The track is off their forthcoming S/T EP, out August 10 via Ramp Local, and it only shows the promise of the brand new band, never to hold back, and never to shy away from talking about things that matter. Its title, the band notes, “isn’t about dorks or bikes. Sometimes words are just the nonsense we mumble to other people to feel less alone.” You can picture it, can’t you? The passing of a happy wanderer, as your feelings of isolation are consuming you entirely? What other words come to mind?
It’s simultaneously an exorcism of the demons that haunt us, and an outcry of anguish against their presence in the first place. Drummer Allie Brasch deceptively creates a catchy entrance with a minimalist beat, giving way to the gorgeously noisy guitar of Carlos Salas, which goes from a searing, glowing vastness in the verses, to chaotic brooding in the chorus. Beck Kitsis plays a bassline founded in comfort and understanding, which mirrors the empathetic request of the lyrics. Singer Aida Riddle aches in every iteration, her vocal howls constitute a combination of “please don’t leave me” and “why can’t I be nice to myself?” It’s sad, it’s frustrating, it’s unfair, not to be able to be at one with the brain for which you didn’t ask, so much so that Riddle nearly cries, “I would rather be tortured than alone.” If you can’t understand, you’re not alive.