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CD of The Week

Week of 5/10/21

    Squid - Bright Green Field (Warp)

    Over the past two years or so, a trend in the UK rock world has emerged that I like to describe as “Shouty Brits.” You’ve heard a lot of these bands here on Y-Not Radio – Idles, Shame, Sleaford Mods Squid has been one of the most hyped of these groups, especially as they hadn’t released a full album yet. With their debut Bright Green Field, they also stake their claim as the slipperiest of the scene to pin down.

    Expanding many songs out to the 6-8 minute mark, Squid invoke the extended dance-rock vibes of LCD Soundsystem, especially on the single “Narrator,” which plays with the idea of an "unreliable narrator." “G.S.K.” is indeed a reference to pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and its massive concrete HQ that looms over London. Horns punctuate the track, which sometimes resembles the more expansive parts of Talking Heads’ catalog, especially in the Byrne-esque details in the lyrics such as “On Concrete Island, I wave at the businessmen / On Concrete Island, well, I hope my dinner is warm.”

    "Documentary Filmmaker" features spoken vocals over jazzy horns that gradually build into something increasingly unhinged, as the narrator watches the seasons change and the months go by stuck in a hospital. “2010” begins with some arpeggiated “Weird Fishes” guitars, makes a sharp turn into punk rock, then swerves back around again to Radiohead territory. And Thom Yorke’s paranoid lyrics are an influence on Bright Green Field for sure.

    Album closer "Pamphlets" has the band firing on all cylinders, with a timely lyric "that's why I don't go outside," though for even more ominous reasons – “Pale teeth and white smiles / They don't care and I don't mind.”

    Some of the lengthy tracks really stretch the album out a bit. About halfway through, "Boy Racers" goes off into psychedelic spaaace. With so many left turns and extended songs, it’s easy to tune out along the way. On Bright Green Field, Squid spread their tentacles a bit further than their shouty peers across the pond, creating one of the more intriguing, if overlong, debut albums thus far in 2021.

    **Donate $15 or more to Y-Not Radio to receive a download of Bright Green Field. Click here for details.
    Review by Joey O.

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