Squid came to being when the members all converged on Brighton. The young five-piece now base themselves in London. Their brand of post-punk and disco-funk is getting tongues wagging in the biz. They’re a typically wacky bunch who cite Captain Beefheart and pickle among things they like. Their latest EP, Town Centre is produced by Dan Carey and will be released on his Speedy Wunderground label.
Vinyl 12" £11.99 SWP001VN
Limited repress 12" on Speedy Wunderground featuring a blue back cover (previous was green).
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Vinyl 12" £11.99 SWP001V
12" on Speedy Wunderground.
Squid are one of the most original bands plying their trade in a Sarf Landn scene that is awash with piss-poor post-punk pot-pourris. The group skilfully navigate away from this by invoking a sound that's midway between Düsseldorf in the 70s and New York in the 80s (what I'm saying here is that they sound a bit like Neu! and Talking Heads, cheers). They've still got bags of originality too, with blasts of disco synths, incredibly dynamic song structures, and slightly abstruse, funny lyrics.
Their EP 'Town Centre' begins not how you'd imagine an EP to start. Opening song 'Savage' is four minutes of free jazz-flavoured noodling. Squid seem to be gleefully reminding us that they are masters of their own destiny and not beholden to cram as much into two sides of 12" as they can. It's an enjoyably anarchic beginning to an enjoyably anarchic record. There are little elements that contradict the various tropes of the scene they belong to. For instance, they've got a knack for big choruses and aren't afraid of them. Similarly, although on 'The Cleaner' they descend into a sprawling mess of distortion and freeform noodling (like every other fucking group like to do), Squid temper this with thumps from Ollie Judge's ever-reliable tubs. They always pull it back and it never goes over the edge. This is why 'The Cleaner', and indeed the rest of the EP, sounds so vital.
In the same way that 'Savage' is surprising, so too is EP closer 'Rodeo'. I was expecting another shot of krautrock mainlined in at blistering pace but instead it's a spacey dub jam that stands at odds with the fury of 'The Cleaner and 'Match Bet'. It's this ability to balance that makes 'Town Centre' feel like a self-contained whole rather than a collection of four songs. Squid are having fun. Long may the games continue.
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