In the ‘90s, Justine Covault was a staple of the Boston music scene, performing regularly with popular female metal band, Malachite. After diverging from music to start a family, Covault’s desire to make music, although never truly snuffed, began to flicker more convincingly. And by the mid-2010’s, with the desire fully aflame and family more self-sufficient, she….
- Casually stalked the current Boston music scene.
- Ran into another music veteran (guitarist Charles Hansen).
- Proclaimed to Charles her intentions to start a new band.
- Proved to Hansen her new songs were absolutely not “sh**.”
And on that day, when Justine Covault finally returned to music, Justine and the Unclean were born (or…unborn?).
Is her return appreciated, or perhaps….not? Let’s take a look at the eponymous track, “The Signal Light,” from Justine and the Unclean’s forthcoming full-length album.
To properly prepare myself, I read Justine’s description regarding the song’s meaning/inspiration: “Written while retracing Paul Revere’s ride on the back of a motorcycle. An ode to Boston and its history, written in the style of its garage music. About the importance of seeing the signs of hope and responding to them.” And I have to agree: The chasing beat, the growling, dirty guitars, and overall melodic cadence reminds me of a ride or persistent galloping past (and through) any and all sights and obstacles. This is a driving rock song about journeys, escapes, signals, paths, and everything that clarifies or obfuscates.
With confident, mid-range, “punk”-but-restrained vocals, Justine proclaims her lyrics, leading to that powerful, harmony-supported chorus (which changes lyrically after every verse):
“I see the signal light
I see the signal light
Moonflower in the night
I think I can see that light.”
The bridge revisits the song’s opening (and bending) guitar notes, and hits the ground running with an efficient, distorted solo. We then return to the last verse, that powerful chorus, and then an ominous final chord – like there’s trouble afoot, or something unkind but familiar looming in Justine’s headlight.
“The Signal Light” is raw, catchy, and galvanizing – definitely the work of experienced music makers who, after a slight detour, returned to uncluttered roads without ever missing a beat. Recommended.
BELOW: Listen to Justine and the Unclean and check them out on Bandcamp. Please support Justine and the Unclean by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music.
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