It is always fun to see certain musical movements take over an area of the world. TFN has been getting very accustomed to looking to Australia for fresh psychedelic rock and now with Squid, London is the “it” place to be for mind bending genre jumping post-punk. First black midi exposed the sound and showed the door, then Black Country, New Road walked through the door and now Squid are keeping the door wide open and showing us all the new addition. That is the way I feel after hearing the band’s debut LP Bright Green Field.
Calling Squid a post-punk band is really much easier and a simplified out when asked how to describe their sound. The reality is that Squid blend a large spectrum of music that not only has its post-punk moments but includes new wave, electronic, punk, jazz, brit-pop and Krautrock components in the creation of their unique musical landscapes. The record has so many switches of tempos and instrument transitions that it is hard to keep up and absorb with just one listen. It is also why the record is fantastic!
I could go on about all the ear catching pieces within this album but some of the highlights include the slowing crawl during “Documentary Filmmaker” that is driven by the brass section. Then there is key track standout “Narrator” which has a jumping sweet beat that could mesh with an LCD Soundsystem track as singer Ollie Judge spazzes out a bit before Martha Skye Murphy’s spoken calm vocals mellow the track out. The song then spirals off into a spacey noise swirl that sounds phenomenal with headphones on as it passes the eight minute mark. “Boy Racers” leaves its faster pace for a final four minutes of buzzing space age drone that will leave your head scratching and possibly dizzy in a good way. The layered and staggered vocals that play off both sides of your brain in “2010” is just another example of how Squid blow past any expectations you had, especially as the track becomes more chaotic near its conclusion. And then make sure you stay for the phenomenal finale of “Pamphlets,” which just pretty much sums up the entire album with its electric filled buzz of instruments and energy that leaves you wanting more.
Squid have created a truly impressive debut with Bright Green Field. The band uses expansive tracks to blur genres and destroy song boundaries which really works across its 55 minute runtime. The record is bright, fun and never the same twice. Squid is a must listen and I already predict Bright Green Field will be one of the best records of the year!
Key Tracks: “Narrator” / “2010” / “Pamphlets”
Artists With Similar Fire: black midi / Dry Cleaning / Black Country, New Road
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony