Misery Signals

Post-hardcore act Misery Signals blend math rock tropes like tricky time signature shifts and twiddly guitar parts with the strained aggression and sore throat vocals of screamo, creating a sound with more emotional heft than the former yet that is also less monochromatic than the latter. Misery Signals formed in Madison, WI, in 2003, featuring members of a number of regional hardcore and emo bands. Singer Jesse Zaraska had the highest profile, having worked with 7 Angels, 7 Plagues and the Canadian hardcore act Compromise, which had broken up in 2002 following the death of two of its members in a car accident. Guitarist Jeff Aust had been in Hamartia, while guitarist Ryan Morgan, bassist Kyle Johnson, and drummer Branden Morgan (Ryan's brother) filled out the lineup. Following the band's self-titled six track EP, released in 2003, Aust was replaced by new guitarist Stuart Ross. The revised lineup signed with the New Jersey indie Ferret Records and released Of Malice and the Magnum Heart in June 2004. After a lengthy tour in support of their debut full-length, Zaraska chose to leave the band to return to his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, and join the acoustic post-rock band Sleeping Girl with other former Compromise members. In the post-millennial equivalent of those bands who used MTV to advertise for new members back in the '80s, the remaining members of Misery Signals posted an instrumental song on their MySpace page, inviting fans to send in their lyrics and vocals. New singer Karl Schubach won the challenge and joined the band. Misery Signals' second album, Mirrors, was released in August 2006. ~ Stewart Mason

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