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Faint Signal biography
FAINT SIGNAL is a Craigslist hookup that began with a post asking if Prog rock was dead in Cincinnati. Randy CAMPBELL fresh off a 1 year stintwith a regionally successful Power pop band SCREAMING MIMES and Henri EISENBAUM with 25 years worth of life lived out of the music scene, connected after Randy's posting. Randy cut his teeth in progressive rock and Henri had almost an album's worth of music that needed a fresh set of ears. The subject matter deals with social and political issues, awareness, inner reflection and optimism for the future. The Cincinnati music scene is in the midst of busting at the seems with great original music ... but FAINT SIGNAL is the only progressive rock band. They see it as a great challenge with the resurgence of Prog Rock. Odd time signatures, thick harmony vocals, strong melodies, great guitar work and lush keyboards. Mostly written by Henri, the music isn't progressive just to be progressive. It's honestly written with feeling of a life lived and thoughtful opinions of a citizen's look at the world around him in a country in flux.

With the rise of some great progressive bands like LIFESIGNS, PORCUPINE TREE, TRANSATLANTIC, THE FLOWER KINGS, SOUND OF CONTACT ... to name a few ... and the continued interest in bands like MARILLION, SPOCK'S BEARD, STEVE HACKETT'S GENESIS REVISITED albums, FAINT SIGNAL has a fresh sound ... yet a sound that has experience.

With an album released very late in 2013/early 2014, they are well on their way with album #2 with hopes for a release by mid 2014.While the core of Faint Signal's music has always been shared by Henri and Randy's writing and engineering, several other veteran musicians from the Cincinnati music scene have collaborated along the way to bring their debut album to fruition. They are currently in search of some additional local musicians to fill out a lineup that would present their material the way it is intended.

Randy quote ''This has certainly been a welcomed surprise. After 10 years in pop music, it feels great to get back to my roots. With what I see going on in progressive music today, I feel we have something legitimately to offer. Finding a new partner in crime at this stage of the game isn't easy. You need to be as open as you can and quite frankly Henri has made it very easy. We hit it off right from the get go and we find ourselves in a working groove that we need to continue to nourish while the harvest is abundant.''

Henri quote ''After ...
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3.91 | 14 ratings
Faint Signal
4.00 | 11 ratings

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0.00 | 0 ratings
How's It Feel to Be So Right


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Formula by FAINT SIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 11 ratings

Faint Signal Crossover Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars FAINT SIGNAL is a group of 2 multi-instrumentalists from Cincinnati formed in 2011, having met by post to promote PROG in their country; texts on political, social issues for reflection; the music is provided with twirling keyboards, illuminated guitars, with reminiscences drawn from here and there, from MARILLION, PINK FLOYD, GENESIS even RUSH and from LIFESIGNS, TRANSATLANTIC, PORCUPINE TREE, MUSE or SOUND OF CONTACT. A sound showing the experience gained and a fresh sound. "5000 Years" on the keyboard title, female vocals from Katja, one of the two sung, piano which brings up an airy sax solo with SUPERTRAMP notes. "Led by the Moon" for the most progressive piece, mysterious intro, easy to incorporate tune; mid-air and symphonic break with a hint of spleen, all magnified by bass, drums and synth; its apart on GENESIS and KING CRIMSON. Bells introduce "Groomed for Success pt.1 Panacea, pt.2 Formula and pt.3 Golden Timepiece" for a twelve-minute trilogy, rhythmic electro start, synthetic percussions and keyboards, melodic and fruity guitar solo; Wallian atmosphere with sound effects and electro, choppy and redundant voice, sublime solo; end with an even more Floydian drift, a plaintive then lamenting violin à la Waters and soaring solo; my girlfriend typed just by telling me about PINK FLOYD on this triptych. "Terra Incognito" for the instrumental where RUSH and GENESIS 2nd version can be cited; very fat, symphonic, ambient synth with the flute in the middle, final to the contemplative synth.

"Linear Skies" and an intro à la YES then it calms down, a little GENESIS, Katja's voice and we go on MOSTLY AUTUMN with a rhythmic tune; a dithyrambic solo on the keyboard will capsize you and ask you why you missed it; sublime, explosive title. "Surface Tension" for an interlude where Kevin comes to give the baton and helps the keyboard to give a nervous and gripping rhythm; prog piece! "Mixed Signals" for the hit radio track, it only looks like FAINT SIGNAL, good go a little SAGA for those keyboard notes that come out everywhere, SPOCK'S BEARD and GANDALF'S FIST, good the synth variation is divine . "Robed in Tradition" for a targeted Floydien ersatz on acoustic guitar, "Animals" and "The Wall" in echo; break with the ersatz voice in Churchill, a drawer dripping with memories and a delightful solo for the second hit of the album. It continues on "U.A.V. »Sung title which brings me back to a supercharged MINIMUM VITAL, to an 80's YES and an ELP oozing with guitars, go for an overboosted ASIA too, in short heavy, that's it I hear the voice of NASA or the US Air Force which brings me to "Live it Now" symphonic title where the keyboards take the front, the piano riff seeming to launch its notes here and there, the final throbbing. "Zero to 55" for the symphonic finale, jovial film music tune, bucolic, classical ballad; a little GENESIS for the keyboard, the flute, a powerful riff; at 4 minutes, you risk melting, the flute, the violin get to the heart; It's bombastic in a good way, it's aerial, it's sublime. FAINT SIGNAL released a musical bombshell in 2018, modern and almost commercial progressive rock, to the limit. A fresh, spinning OMNI album to which a real drummer would have magnified the listening; in short, a pearl anyway.

 Formula by FAINT SIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 11 ratings

Faint Signal Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Faint Signal originally came together when a post on Craigslist asked if prog rock was dead in Cincinnati. As a result, Henri Eisenbaum (guitars, keyboards, vocals, percussion) and Randy Campbell (vocals, basses, pedals, keyboards) started working together and in 2014 they released their self-titled debut. I do not know why it took so long for the second album to come out, but in 2018 'Formula' was finally released. This involved nine musicians and five recording studios, and like many these days was supported by a crowdfunding campaign. As a way of paying forward the band set aside a portion of all proceeds from this release to purchase for instruments for school children and the school music programs. I have never known any music program get the funding they need, as arts seem to be the first things cut in budget rounds, so this is something which definitely strikes a chord with me.

This is polished prog which has a great deal in common with the Nineties American neo prog scene. When they want to turn up the guitars they do so with gusto, and they immediately reminded me of the lost-lost (and much-missed) Il'vatar, with some Saga, plenty of Pink Floyd, plus The Flower Kings and post-Neal Spock's Beard. The songs are well structured, with good vocals, and there is a quirkiness throughout the album, starting with the album artwork itself where we see band member's heads in jars. I would have preferred more 'real' drums on the album, but this is a long- standing gripe of mine and actually the sequenced drums here are not nearly as bad as they could be, I'd just rather have a human at the back as the music to me always seems far more honest and direct. Most songs are relatively concise, there is no room here for the guys to go on extended solos but instead they concentrate on the job at hand, which makes the album very immediate indeed.

I did see a review which likened these guys to Gandalf's Fist, and although I do not necessarily agree with it, I can understand where it is coming from as there is a similar approach in some areas. The use of additional musicians just for certain songs really does add to the interest, and the result is something which is incredibly polished and enjoyable from the very first hearing and that only grows the more time it is played. Great songs, superb vocals, I can only imagine there was a dearth of progressive bands in the area when Henri and Randy first came together given how that transpired, and hope they have inspired many more in their area to get out there as this is a really enjoyable album. Refined, relaxing, I can listen to this all day. This album may have been out for two years, but with no reviews yet on Prog Archives it has been missed by many, and that certainly needs correcting. For all fans of well-structured commercial progressive rock which is a delight.

 Faint Signal by FAINT SIGNAL album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 14 ratings

Faint Signal
Faint Signal Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Cincinnati, Ohio! Prog! Not exactly what you would expect, I guess. Which explains the faint signal emanating from this town, a thoroughly modern approach to drama-laced heavy prog, as practiced by Porcupine Tree, Rush, Haken, Queensryche, Nemo, Anathema as well as hints of the legendary Blue Oyster Cult etc'.Curiously though, it's a duo that tackles all the instrumentation and vocals, namely the gifted Henri Eisenbaum on guitars, keys, vocals and percussion as well as Randy Campell on vocals, bass, pedals and keys, aided by some guests. The somber cover art conveys the style of the music perfectly, sonically black and white with shimmering bolts of silver judiciously inserted for maximum effect. Guitars are bold and upfront, no sissy stuff, the unbashful bass scouring the path ahead, reconnoitering the terrain for the thundering drums.

'The Sun Closed Its Eyes' uncorks the genie from the bottle, a whispering synthesized wind announces the shifting guitar riffs, the churning organ overlays and the dam-busting bass, all propelled by the mechanical drums. Like a guided missile, the track speeds into the ether, searching out some ideal kill zone, urgency dictated by strangled vocals and the bludgeoning rhythm divine. A tremendous opener that will set the record straight and narrow. There is little time for rest as the killer 'Fall and Swallow' menacingly takes control of any sunny disposition one may have and like some sonic spider, gets their resolute web ready for some imminent capture. Spooky, crude, oily and lethal, the brooding arrangement has the darker Floydian tendencies more associated with dysfunction, paranoia and fear. Like a soundtrack to some horror flick, the steamrolling angst is inescapable, showcasing clanging guitars, rainbow rifferama, depth-charge bass rumbles and tectonic drumming. Its companion-segue piece 'Images' just keeps the palpitations alive, a sensational dirge of 'memories of what used to be', the BOC imagery obvious in Randy's vocalising as well as the Buck Dharma 'like guitar slinging. The twirling synth solo really gets the blood boiling amid the drenching thunder and lightning, 'nocturnal' prog at its finest.

'By the Look in your Eyes' keeps the mood charted, kling-klang rhythms taken up by all instruments, a binary onslaught on the senses, lyrically in a desolate state of uncomfortable numbness. Henri unleashes a shimmering display on his fret board, rashly going beyond the pleasure dome, the gargoyle bass devastating and the dreamy vocals invoking some not too distant pain.

Can they keep the sonic sex going, you ask? 'The Reveal' offers a somewhat sunnier disposition, obviously reaching cruising altitude and flexing even denser musical muscles, this being a more typical prog piece, full of contrasting light and hard elements. The piano is the lead instrument here, herding the bright vocals and towing the brash arrangement with inevitable confidence. This is seriously tasty music, ornamented with detailed serenity and undeniable power.

'R.F.I.D' starts out with your typical court-room effect, with a guilty party ready for sentencing, as the lyrics deal with the emotions of a fate decided by some higher elevation of humanity. The panicked growl of injustice co-inhabits with a contrasting sense of despair, very cool messaging indeed. Another shot ends the affair rather sordidly. Hmmmm! The hefty riffs continue unabated, no rest for these lads, smashingly bright on 'Seems to Me', another edifying melange of sweet and sour, the BOC tinges clearly showing again, much to our pleasure. Toss in some symphonic swaths of dizzying synth blades, stop and start mechanics and that satanic bass that knows no respite.

'Concrete Soldier', well that's a title that needs little explanation of autopsy. The vocals emphasize a distinct sense of disgust at the game of world-policing, a labyrinth of senseless pain that has no positive outcome other than broken limbs and destroyed dreams. The stun -guitar, the raging ennui-laced Eric Bloom-like voice and the metronome beat shows off some 'secret treaty' reference about 'dominance and submission'. Blending into the extra-terrestrial, middle-eastern riffed bulldozer 'There's Enough Dirt Here' only highlights further the talent shown here, an angry rant that explodes through the speakers, weighty and filthy as only a profoundly disturbed society can express.

The perennial and uncontrolled fall from graces of the US education system is the subject matter for the title track and band moniker, the morality of a super power that cannot think any more FREELY, constantly manipulated by higher authorities, glorifying the sheriff of Nottingham and jailing the merry men of Sherwood. The various effects are added only to insult and further injure. Of course, 'Reality Show' is the companion piece, featuring a Robert Calvert meets Frank Zappa -like scornful vocal , punky attitudes and a gratuitous stab at 'That's right folks, don't touch that dial!' mentality that promotes primitive concepts at the expense of thought and intellect. There is no reality in a reality show, you stupid idiots! It's all a screenplay, duly written out for one to obey. 'IGKYA' ends this tantalizing disc on a torrential note, all fury, rage and bravado. The middle finger firmly pointing towards the heavens, the band marches on, pulsating, recklessly confident, rocking hard and well. A precision guided drone homing in inexorably on its hapless target, surrender now or else, BOOM!

What a ride! Wooowoooo!

As far as progressive rock debut's go, this is a Bengal tiger, roaring its mightiness with impunity. There is an obvious USA based renaissance underway, for which we can only be thankful. The sleepy giant awakens, inspired!

4.5 dim gestures

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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