Squid – ‘The Cleaner’

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Intelligent funky dance punk that you can’t not enjoy.

If you’ve listened to them before, then ‘The Cleaner’ is classic Squid. And it is brilliant. The first single ahead of their EP Town Centre sees a natural progression from previous songs such as ‘The Dial’ and ‘Houseplants’. ‘The Cleaner’ still has the angular and quirky disco punk/new wave style that nods towards Talking Heads and Television, but Squid have gone big here, bordering on epic. Clocking in at seven and a half minutes, you might think they’ve gone nerdy and proggy. But that is not the case. If anything, you could compare it to the long disco jam of ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’. ‘The Cleaner’ begins with a simple drum beat and cowbell which is accompanied by one guitar playing a simple melody and the other making weird whale noises along the neck. As Ollie Judge sings in his distinctive peculiar bark, the accents of a funky 80s synth transport you back to the 80s (or what you imagine the 80s to be if you weren’t around). Louise Borlase sings in the chorus where it gets a little more thought-provoking with lines such as “And you find it standing there with a brush and mop/I dance with DVDs and books.” Squid tell the story of ‘The Cleaner’ in a way that poets such as Charles Bukowski may use the figure of the minimum wage manual labour worker to express ideas and feelings. Pretty poetic and clever there!

Half way through the track, Squid launch into chaotic noise that suddenly takes back to a instrumental jam that builds and gets louder and more intense, courtesy of a short and repetitive guitar riff and strange noises from the keyboards. ‘The Cleaner’ ends with a second jam playing around the lyric “So I can’t dance.”

All in all, Squid are the next best band. they write great songs with great lyrics and musically as a unit they are untouchable in their own unique brand of post-punk.

Words by Matthew Brocklehurst


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