A picture says a thousand words, but what about an album cover? It isn’t always you can get an idea of a bands sound from the art that adorns it. Yet sometimes, it’s just right. Enter Squid, and their latest release ‘Bright Green Fields’. The album art sees several pieces of furniture, wood, and general riff-raff put together to form the shape of a person. Only when put together do the objects have purpose, much like the array of elements that seep through Squid’s experimental, punk-filled sound. By filtering the mix of musical influences through their unique vision, Squid have offered up a debut that feels kaleidoscopic in nature- each little addition pulled together to form a captivating work of art.
The beginning tracks ‘Resolution Square’ and ‘G.S.K’ do a stellar job at introducing the album. ‘Resolution Square’ features an amalgamation of warped samples, that let excitement build through it’s brief runtime. After that comes G.S.K, that places us in the eye of Squid’s sound. As the track opens up, we are treated to booming, militant-like vocals from lead drummer Ollie Judge, jolty guitar riffs, and an unexpectedly ambient middle-8. It’s an opening toys with emotion and anticipation, firmly telling us that Squid is in control. The confidence they display on these two tracks alone is commendable, and it only grows from there.
Delving into the body of work, it remains obvious that Squid are unafraid to be slightly weird. While their punk foundations remain rampant amongst the cluster of sounds, the experimental nature of the band comes in full force, for an addictive effect. A standout track ‘Paddling’ catches attention due to it’s spoken word section, distorted synths, and peculiar drumming techniques. ‘2010’ jumps between layers of vocals motifs, metal-like instrumental breaks, and minimalistic, indie backing. The amount the album jumps between genres, sounds and influences can be hard to keep track of- but Squid bravely forge ahead, continuing to push the tracks to the nicequest corners they can find.
The last track ‘Pamphlet’ is an apt closer- like the rest of the album, it feels wonderfully relentless, with an ongoing drumbeat and bassline driving the track as it slowly builds throughout it’s 8-minute runtime. It’s reminiscent of the feeling of being led along an unknown path, that Squid have so carefully managed to encapsulate throughout the album as a whole. Through Squid’s confidence, and their egar experminatation, emerges ‘Bright Green Fields’, an album unwilling to compromise. For that alone it can be marked as a promising debut, we can only hope the band keeps up the momentum.