Friday, June 13, 2014

AP Review: The Squids (formerly Heroes and Heroines) - "Wizard of Loneliness" EP - Stays True...

Back in 2012 American Pancake dove into Heroes and Heroines - Two Weeks 7 inch which we likened to stepping into a 1960's Super 8 movie reel. The translucent guitar, Farfisa style organ and prepubescent sounding vocals harkened back to the Smile period of the Beach Boys. The boys are back as The Squids and their spanking brand new EP named "Wizard of Loneliness" still veers into similar musical territory but the boys have traded some of those lush sounds for a more straight 60's rock feel. You can feel the surf rock / sock hop rock of iconic bands like the Bobby Fuller Four, The Ventures, The Trashmen fused with a bit of 80's new wave of bands like The Beat and Blondie even. It is still all filtered through their rose colored glass imbued with a genuine sweetness. Centered deep in these songs are sweeping melodies and a longing for romance. Drag is pretty amazing in it's scope. It feels big. It stirs up images of early Blondie. Loving it. Twiddler is sock hop punk at it's most pure. It feels like a tortured love play with cigarettes rolled up in it's sleeves. Loving this too. Blondie with its hand claps and harried feel begs to be danced to. At a certain point the guitars get thicker and combined with the drum beat it plunges into a new wave vibe like a Plimsouls song. This kind of decade jump happens in a few of the songs and I like the heavier feel. You b/w Me has the plucky clean guitar lead mirroring the lead vocal and it sounds really cool. The melody still deeply rooted in a 60's vibe stealthily moves into an almost tropical punk tone. The build up is sweetly done and I could of listened to just that for 3 more minutes straight. Mighty Mouse with it's rabid organ downbeats and pop fury is adolescent angst personified and feels like a lighter version of early Elvis Costello.

The Squids "Wizard of Loneliness" time warps strident guitars, defiant bass and drum lines with breaking waves of organs sounds and pure vocals producing catchy heartfelt songs that could be described as sock hop / bubblegum / power punk pop (or something like that). Like that girl or guy at the dance with glitter in their hair these songs are easy to fall in love with.
Robb Donker

"Wizard of Loneliness" is available on Cassette via Lollipop Records

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