SQRM
Rodeo


4.5
superb

Review

by B R A N D O N S C O T T USER (103 Reviews)
February 14th, 2011 | 55 replies | 9,542 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm a fucking freak, spit on me

Pretentious as it is, stating that SQRM may just be the band to herald the next generation of hardcore music is made all the easier, even after just one listen of group's sophomore effort entitled Rodeo; adorned by the glassy-eyed gaze of a clown who by looks of it is about to trade in his big, red nose for a noose (perhaps a subtle jab towards hardcore's fun-loving spirit), the album's cover is simple yet jarring, the perfect visual to represent the schizophrenic madness held inside. Self-loathing, outwardly loathing, SQRM may not be trying to change the world. but their well-spoken dissatisfaction with well, everything, is not only compelling but dangerously addictive, a bad habit that will leave you on a Rodeo binge daily

While their cover may sneakily be attacking the scene they were spawned from, that is where all subtleties on Rodeo end, with both the lyrics and music of SQRM aiming for nowhere but the jugular. Utilizing a suitably filthy production, SQRM's minimalistic version of hardcore is the perfect means of conveyance of their rampant hatred of all. Fittingly, one of the best examples of the Western Massachusetts deranged style would be the album's title track, where SQRM's vocalist (who like the rest of the band has made his identity annoyingly difficult to discover) with his raw howl rolls off visceral verse after verse, almost psychotically delivering the devastatingly straight-shooting lines;

"Your fucking scene, your fucking face, your fucking looks, you're a fucking disgrace! Call me a freak! Don't like my cloths, don't like my hair! I'm a fucking freak, spit on me, just sit and fucking stare!"

Enlightened lyric writing skills? Definitely not, but coupled with the seething fervor of his delivery juxtaposed against the band's slow and droning tempo, his scornful words somehow manage to transcend genius. Not only is the album lyrically abusive with songs like " I Can't Find My Knife" recalling the story of an obviously troubled individual (maybe the clown!?!) who (luckily!) can't find his knife, or the excellently titled "Cut My Strings", a pessimistic message about everlasting stagnancy, but musically Rodeo reciprocates the same intensity in a fashion just as captivating. "You Still Can't Live" depicts SQRM's energetic side, where the band mashes more traditional hardcore elements with their own perverse take on the genre, crafting stop-and-go guitar lines that as ugly as they are surprisingly memorable.

As a "hardcore" band part of makes SQRM so damn good is just how original and different their hardcore really is; rarely adopting the genre's usual breakneck pace ("I Can't Find My Knife", "You Still Can't Live" and closing song "Waste" are really songs that approach hardcore's standard speed), SQRM's down-tempo assault is what truly separates the boys from the men. "Upsidedown Cross" (bet you couldn't guess, a song about bashing Christianity and their lord and savior Jesus Christ!) showcases the group's thinly distorted guitar tone play slow, anger infused dirges of sloppy power-chord passages, accented a steady, simple drumbeat, a perfect accompaniment to the rest of the music. SQRM's drummer doesn't flaunt his skills often, but on tracks like the aforementioned "Waste", the faster paced tempo allows for him to shine, performing powerviolence-like blasts and thunderous drum-rolls with an astute sense of timing.

Whether SQRM's intentions were to ever change/improve the time-tested hardcore formula or not, the notion (probably originally started by fans anyway) has become something of a reoccurring themes within reviews and assessments for the band even since their first album, with Rodeo inspiring even more confidence in all those who support them. Deservedly gaining new fans by the truckload, SQRM you may mega-loathe us, but we can't get enough of you.



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user ratings (18)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album, great band. This review was actually a lot of fun to write, and I feel like it's one of my better in recent times so feedback would be appreciated!

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

rasputin
February 14th 2011


14544 Comments


good band will never listen again now

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

was waiting for someone to say that




c'mon rasp, i thought we were cool now. also any critiques?

deathofasalesman
February 14th 2011


5842 Comments


I just downloaded this cause they're on Youth Attack. I find it quite pretentious that almost every band on the label tries to keep their identities as secret as possible.

rasputin
February 14th 2011


14544 Comments


im cool


you have two typos in your massive first sentence

always proof-read. don't say you already have coz if you have typos then you didnt proof-read enough.

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I should have caught those, I had it proof-read by someone else already but in transference from paper to CPU I (obviously) messed up a few things. Content-wise though? Sorry to be pain but you being straightforward with these types of thing really helps (especially since you actually know what you're talking about)

cvlts
February 14th 2011


8955 Comments


Failures rec'd? might check this out...

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just downloaded this cause they're on Youth Attack. I find it quite pretentious that almost every band on the label tries to keep their identities as secret as possible.


Haha yeah, but at the end of the day as the quality is good (which it generally is), i can live without know who they are.

And Dante, I didn't rec Failures because they really all that similar musically, but as far as quality goes, they are equal if not better. Like I said in the review, they really own a distinctive style.

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just edited a whole slew of typos so hopefully it's perfect now : )

rasputin
February 14th 2011


14544 Comments


only thing i can really say is that your writing sort of feels cluttered. i'm not prescribing that you dumb it down, but keep your ideas to the point. for example, the first sentence is far too long (and i love long sentences, particularly opening ones)

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I totally understand what you mean, I've been told before that sometimes I go a bit overboard on details. I'll definitely look through it again and fix some stuff to make it more concise. Thanks again for the help, it's appreciated.

alachlahol
February 14th 2011


7489 Comments


this album was pretty blase and just chugs along with very little change in tempo. even though the lyrics are hilarious the vocalist still looks like carrot top and angry fire crotch kids are a dime a dozen

alachlahol
February 14th 2011


7489 Comments


oh yea and the only reason this band is getting any exposure whatsoever is because theyre part of youth attack

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Eh, I really like the delivery and just how raw the lyrics really are. Genius they are not but it's hard to not admit that some of the one-liners you could pull from this album fucking rule

rasputin
February 14th 2011


14544 Comments


a little restraint with the rating might be better tbh

i realise the only way users on this site notice an album is if there's a 4 in the rating, but that shouldn't influence your rating, you should use the review to try and convince people to check it out, even if you rate it as low as a 3 (which is still a 'good' album)

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks although this version of the review is basically obsolete now, I made a ton of changes so that version will be up shortly instead.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2011


7266 Comments


Solid review mate. I thoroughly enjoyed it. As for critiques, can't say I have any of note. Have a well-deserved pos.

That said, I can't see myself going anywhere near this.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

TheSpirit
February 14th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

everytime i try editing this my cpu fucks me over and that's been happening for at least seven hours now so fuck it, i'm leaving this up. thanks for compliments irving and chambered.

sadderdays
February 18th 2011


30 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucks this is epic

TheSpirit
February 19th 2011


17818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes, yes it is



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