Signs of Progress – Safe Haven (EP Review)
It’s not often that you hear a band that reminds you just why you have loved this scene for so long. Pioneering all things pop-punk, Florida-based quartet Signs of Progress do just that with EP ‘Safe Haven’. With members based in two states, Signs of Progress seek to defy all odds despite their geographical boundaries. ‘Safe Haven’ was released in November 2020 and is still making waves in the scene now.
“Safe Haven” is produced and mastered by renowned producer Lee Dyess, who has notably worked with bands such as Mayday Parade, From First to Last, Against Me!, I Set My Friends on Fire, Stages and Stereos, and Select Start.
This EP is a shining example Sign of Progress’ exceptional musicianship and understanding of just what makes a really great record. Containing everything you could possibly hope from a Pop Punk EP: relatable lyricism, bright riffs, and snappy drums.
Opening track ‘Not if Caring Kills’ is a classic break up track, featuring an intro speech taken from one of lead singer Sage Viscovi’s last messages she sent to her ex after breaking up. With just the right amount of bitterness in the lyrics, and persistent bounce, this single is a perfect opener and sets the tone for the remaining tracks.
Admit It is up next and is one of the catchiest tracks on the EP, with a playful nod to clear influences of Fall out Boy and Panic. Lyrics like “wave goodbye to our history, you’re adding insult to injury” will dance around your head after just one listen. Relentlessly energetic from start to finish, you’ll be returning to this single again and again.
Signs of Progress are not a band to shy away from talking frankly about mental health issues. Tracks ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Bones Exposed’ do so in such an honest way without losing their sound. Both tracks are a touch ‘darker’ than the rest of them with some crunchier guitar tones and thunderous drum fills.
Chronicle is a little gem amongst the six tracks, being the most split-vocal on the EP. Signs of Progress push themselves that little bit further in this track. Chronicle is based on the notion of achieving your dreams, despite what ‘society’ tells you. In just 2:40, every member manages to pull together to create something that will have you peeling yourself off the sofa and wanting to actually do something.
Final track ‘Staircase’ is a swan song that displays Viscovi’s boundless vocal range. Deeply melancholic, haunting, and ethereal, Signs of Progress prove how sometimes less is more in this acoustic track.
Both sincerely written and packed with catch melodies, ‘Safe Haven’ is sure to send fans through an array of emotions while keeping them on their feet.
Words by Selina Payandee.