I've been nuts about Snow Patrol for a few years now, ever since they crossed the pond with their third album "Final Straw."
So it was a massive thrill when it was announced that this Scottish band would be contributing the main song for "Spiderman 3," a new tune called "Signal Fire." And the single for this song pairs this brilliant chunk of Britpop with a solid remix of a song from their latest album "Eyes Open."
The title track opens on a gentle guitar melody, with Gary Lightbody singing wistfully, "The perfect words, never crossed my mind/Cause there was nothing in there but you/I felt every ounce of me screaming out/But the sound was trapped deep in me..."
Soon it blossoms out is a blend of blazing guitar and lushly swirling instrumentation, traddling the line between Britpop and energetic rock'n'roll. In it, Lightbody sings of how the subject is the guiding force of love for him, despite confusion and fear: "In the confusion and the aftermath/You are my signal fire/The only resolution and the only joy/Is the faint spark of forgiveness in your eyes..."
It's undeniably one of Snow Patrol's best songs ever, and so initially it feels a bit redundant to tack another song on after it. In this case, the Eddy TM Loser Remix of "Wow," from their album "Eyes Open."
Frankly this one sounds like a nightclub in the rainforest: It kicks off with an eerie, sort of jungley sound, which is broken by a grimy techno beat and some roiling guitars -- and soon it's become a sort of dancey, funky version of an indie-rocker. But a dark, slightly ominous one with lots of blasting bass.
Listening to "Signal Fire," you can hear exactly why they were chosen to be at the head of the "Spiderman 3" soundtrack -- their music is passionate, complex and sounds almost effortless. If there's anything to be disappointed in in "Signal Fire," it's that this single is too short.
Musically these guys rock -- gentle acoustic balladry, blazes of bass and crashing drums immersed in a swirl of ringing, cycling electric guitars, and driving rock rhythms immersed in grimy beats and UFO synth. And Lightbody provides some beautiful, smooth vocals -- he can sound soaring and romantic, then sound like a slightly drunken savior ("It's all going to change!").
The "Signal Fire" single only has two songs, but both of them are definitely winners -- a solid remix and a brilliant soundtrack song. Definitely worth hearing.