EP Review: Squid - 'Town Centre'
Town Centre is the debut EP from the idiosyncratic stylings of Squid. This is an excellent EP and must be listened to from start to finish in the intended track order. Otherwise you will not appreciate the brilliance you are about to hear.
If you’ve heard Squid before, you’ll know that they play post-punk disco-funk, a mix between Talking Heads and Television. However, Town Centre displays their talents even further as they delve into jazz noir elements. This you can hear from the first track ‘Savage’. You’d expect it to be a furious punk rocker with a title like that, but ‘Savage’ is an intense number. An instrumental that opens with an atmospheric fade. This is followed by disjointed chromatic arpeggic guitar notes, almost random drum fills, and a Miles Davis-esque trumpet line. ‘Savage’ sounds more like a film score than a song.
Second track ‘Match Bet’ starts off with jangly guitar riffs that are laid back and clean. Ollie Judge’s distinctive angular bark makes its first appearance on the EP and they are infectious to listen to, especially as he sings lines such as “There is no luck with a red and a blue wire/But they all look the same to me.” The chorus is a big shouty one, as Ollie shouts “Red wire! Blue Wire!” and the held trumpet notes in contrast with the hammered guitars and drums is comparable to Viagra Boys. The jazz feel comes back again in ‘Match Bet’ as the instrumental is a breakdown based around the trumpet and fuzzy, almost backward sounding, guitar lines. Very cool!
‘The Cleaner’ was the first single off the EP. It’s a 7-and-a-half-minute epic jam. This is where you can definitely hear the Talking Heads and Television comparisons (which is by no means a bad thing). ‘The Cleaner’ is also reminiscent of Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’ as Ollie screams “So I can’t dance”. It’s classic post-disco-punk Squid. Final track ‘Rodeo’ is a tale of insanity, a “story […] One that feels like a movie set while the camera is rolling, but the lead actor has lost the plot and split his mind between those closest to him.” ‘Rodeo’ is like a poem or shirt story over music, so it could be Squid’s own modern take on ‘The End’ by The Doors or The Velvet Underground’s ‘The Gift’. If so, they’ve nailed it.
Come to think of it, they’ve nailed the EP.
Words by Matthew Brocklehurst
‘Town Centre’ EP out 6 September on Speedy Wunderground
*Available 6th September on digital and 15th November on vinyl*
Thur 12 Sep - All Our Tomorrows, 100 Club, London
Fri 13 Sep - Leffingeleuren, Leffinge, Belgium
Sat 14 Sep - Hop Pop Hop, Orléans, France
Mon 16 Sep - Muziekodroom, Hasselt. Belgium
Tue 17 Sep - Roodkapje, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Wed - Sat / 18 - 21 Sep - Reeperbahn, Hamburg, Germany
Sat 12 Oct - Tenement Trail, Glasgow, UK
Sat 19 Oct - Future Days, Birmingham, UK
Sat 19 Oct - Simple Things, Bristol, UK
Sun 20 Oct - Swn Festival, Cardiff, UK
Mon 21 Oct - The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, UK
Tue 22 Oct - Yes, Manchester, UK
Wed 23 Oct - The Picture House, Sheffield, UK
Thu 24 Oct - Elsehwere, Margate, UK
Fri 25 Oct - London Calling, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Sun 27 Oc Tunbridge Wells Forum, Tunbridge Wells, UK
Fri 1 Nov - Pitchfork Paris, Paris, France
Wed 6 Nov - Village Underground, London, UK with Warmduscher
Thur 7 Nov - Roundhouse, London, UK with Metronomy
Fri - Sat / 8 - 9 Nov - Primavera 20th Anniversary Weekender, Benidorm, Spain
Sun 10 Nov - Sonic City, Kortrijk, Belgium
Mon 11 Nov - 02 Academy Leeds, Leeds with Metronomy
Wed 13 Nov - SWG3, Glasgow with Metronomy
Sat 16 Nov - 02 Institute, Birmingham with Metronomy