Squid
Town Centre


4.0
excellent

Review

by WatchItExplode USER (15 Reviews)
February 11th, 2021 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: About to burst...

Is there any greater feeling in music than to discover the next great artist? I know you are with me Sputnik. That’s why we labor over list upon list upon thread upon thread desperately trying to unearth them. It is for this reason, and in the spirit of comraderie that I am compelled to share with you my most recent (and most promising) discovery. On paper, Squid is a post-punk band based out of London, England with one ep and a couple singles to their name. Wholly unremarkable. Hollow, minimally descriptive words indicative of something unworthy of more elaborate description. The words are misleading, for they do not occupy the same mind-space as sound. Squid’s lone ep, Town Centre is a journey, and one that I have eagerly returned to, time and time again, in recent days. So now, in a perplexing attempt to turn you on to an equally perplexing ep, I will employ my best words to convey the emotion and imagery made manifest in my head-space during this sonic odyssey.

The recording opens with the highly atmospheric Savage. It’s sly saxophone and kinetic percussion flourishes conjured noir imagery in the mind of this writer. I found myself in an ominous city-scape, moral ambiguity, suspense, and the promise of drama oozing from every grayscale street corner and back alley. You can practically smell the rain-soaked sidewalk. As an introduction to Squid, it’s a tad disorienting. However, in retrospect, it makes perfect sense.

Our opener segues cleanly into Match Bet, which begins the album proper. A quick, slinky lead guitar brings us to a stilted verse. The tight musicianship and irreverent confidence shown here is reminiscent of Television, or a handful of groups blurring the lines or art rock, new wave, and punk as the 1970s gave way to the 1980s. The song erupts with startling aggression, titillating the listener before settling back into its signature swagger. Boisterous brass soon comes out of nowhere, changing the feel of Match Bet significantly, leaving the listener to ponder if this Squid isn’t actually more of a hydra before riding the underlying groove out to its logical conclusion.

The Cleaner announces itself with a playfully dissonant guitar lick skirting the edges of a driving, metered drum beat. As those irreverent vocals join the fray it sounds something like Devo covering the B-52s. After successfully exploring this aesthetic for several minutes, the song devolves into an ethereal lament of “so I can’t dance”, these words reverberating palpably through the aether. Instrumentation gradually pierces the void, steadily increasing in intensity until the phrase becomes a confession, and ultimately, a celebration in defiance of such a ridiculous notion. The Cleaner magically appears in your life kicking off the party like Frosty the fucking Snowman. The Cleaner's departure is only slightly less telegraphed, and profound no matter how fleeting.

To close out the record, Rodeo returns to a more atmospheric approach. Seemingly without agenda, and certainly without urgency, the listener is treated to alternating lines of spoken verse while a spindly stream of instrumentation meanders its way to mother ocean. “Life’s a rodeo, life’s a rodeo” morphs into a hypnogogic chant equal parts wisened and nightmarish. Unsettled strings claw and burrow just beneath the threshold of awareness for what seems an eternity. At long last, silence washes away the entire surreal experience that is Town Centre.

And so, dear reader, I urge to get out there and listen to Squid’s Town Centre for yourself. The post-everything sensibilities and technical competency on display are incredibly exciting. With a debut lp due in May 2021, Squid are poised to turn the music world on its collective ear mere months from now. Consider this your invitation to get in on the ground floor.



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user ratings (39)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
WatchItExplode
February 11th 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Just a trippy little tbt for visibility. Everyone irl I've rec'd this gets incredibly excited that they have a full-length coming out soon.

Digging: The Best of the Worst - Better Medicine

SlothcoreSam
February 11th 2021


3054 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is pretty great, excited to see what else they have to offer.

Digging: Joystick - I Can't Take it Anymore

theBoneyKing
February 11th 2021


20181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice TBT review! Love this EP. (One thing: you've called it City Centre throughout)

WatchItExplode
February 11th 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fixed! The things your brain doesn't notice in edits, smh.

someone
February 11th 2021


2800 Comments


great EP, great review. pos'd

JS19
February 12th 2021


7730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh yeah bois

GhandhiLion
February 16th 2021


11288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Rodeo is niceeee

Digging: Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell

schoonda
February 16th 2021


1798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

epic band, new record will be incredible

schoonda
February 16th 2021


1798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'M THE CLEANER BUT YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW MY NAME!

WatchItExplode
February 16th 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Didn't dig the cleaner or match bet Ghandi?

GhandhiLion
February 16th 2021


11288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Match Bet was a little boring but the rest was fine. The upcoming album will be their best.

GhandhiLion
February 16th 2021


11288 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The Robert Wyatt cover they did was interesting too.



https://youtu.be/DktZtQbo-YU

WatchItExplode
February 16th 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

That's prevailing opinion. They cover so much ground on this 4 track EP, I can't wait to see how diverse a full length is.



@ schoonda - your av makes me think you should check out the single "Houseplants".

schoonda
February 16th 2021


1798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hahaha cheers watch it i'm already aware there's a rotting cesspit fear in my eyes!

schoonda
February 16th 2021


1798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkzo8BadgA8&ab_channel=BBCMusic



4:50 is all sorts of weird in the best way

WatchItExplode
February 16th 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow, those wild vox are coming from the drummer! These guys are really on their own trip, aren't they?

schoonda
February 16th 2021


1798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely one of the most exciting new bands. find these guys much more enjoyable than black country new road

DocSportello
March 21st 2021


1915 Comments


I really hope these guys blow up and don't blow it

"The Cleaner" has big stone cold classic energy

theBoneyKing
March 21st 2021


20181 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah that song is crazy good.

WatchItExplode
March 21st 2021


8655 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

We'll know in a couple months if we get spastic classics or whammys.



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