Life changes. It’s the natural order of things. As you get older, friendships evolve, relationships fade, and surroundings change. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but trying to find your place and a sense of balance in all of life’s changes is something no one really prepares you for. The four members of Cleveland’s Signals Midwest can certainly attest to that. In eight years, they’ve borne witness to graduations and weddings, moves and funerals, new loves and heartbreak. But through it all, the one constant in the lives of vocalist/guitarist Max Stern, bassist Loren Shumaker, guitarist Jeff Russell, and drummer Steve Gibson has been this band.
At This Age, the quartet’s fourth full-length album, is both a testament to change and a reflection of a band at a pivotal moment in their lives. When you’re a young punk, the idea of devoting your life to music — writing songs and traveling the country with your best friends — doesn’t seem that hard: Write songs, get in the van, and go. “Will we make any money? Will our jobs still be there when we get back? How will we pay our rent next month? Who cares? As long as we’ve got each other and this band, that’s all that matters.” It’s an ethos that guides many bands in the beginning, but after a while, it’s not an easy attitude to maintain.