Squid the Whale - new war.
Record Label: Squid the Whale
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Today when pop rock comes to mind, people are quick to dismiss the genre as it has seen a rise to power chord anthems featuring poorly written lyrics over ex-girlfriends or summertime. While many bands do it right, there seems to be an increase in ones that look to cash in on the sound and flat out execute it poorly. Squid the Whale is not one of those bands. Though fairly new, the band have a sonic display that flaunts their creativity and individuality with new war., their latest EP.
From the outset of "The Greatest Way," vocalist Bradley Walden commands your attention with his pristine set of pipes, therein directed by a very clean toned, but stylized guitar. From there, each member's creativity flows nonstop; Walden demonstrates his impressive range, guitarist Brandon Kubiac briskly switches between steady and frenzied chords backed by bassist Daniel Jay's warm, sliding riffs, all in the midst of Jonathan Wagoner's dominating attitude that shines through each kick and crash hit. When the chorus sweeps in, you're sure to be singing along as the hooks ring highly emphasized, delivering an on point pugnacious attitude, instrumentally and lyrically. Though an impressive start for new war., Squid The Whale have much more to show. "Gentleman" begins on a somber note, but flares right into the bright act that kept your attention in "The Greatest Way." The guitar parts bring more pizzazz and strength to the track than the last, which isn't to say the previous one was weak by any means, but to reaffirm just how well the members contribute to a unique style. The chorus's duration works well with the shift in its tones, moving from a light-falsetto tinge to a more aggressive, full performance.
The next two tracks see a change in general tone while still retaining the passion displayed in the first two. Starting with "Tennessee," Squid the Whale treat us with subtlety, with more minute progression, serving as an elongated build up that pays off well, with kick, snare, staccato guitar, and rhythmically sliding vocals all in unison. "Drown," on the other hand, begins with dreary piano juxtaposed against a cheery audio clip of apparent happiness and laughter. Thereafter, acoustics overwhelm the track and poor into another dynamic and zealous vocal delivery by Walden, leaving the lyrics "don't jump, I'll drown" burned into your memory. The melodic vocal progression perfectly compliments the ever resounding guitar rhythm, which at this point comes as no surprise by the time the song comes to an end.
Despite the EP's brevity, you are left with an astounding sense of fulfillment after a mere 15 minutes. I feel like a Geico advertisement but to hell with it. 15 minutes is all it takes for Squid the Whale to win you over, providing youthful testimony that the genre can still emanate attitude and passion. After just 4 tracks, it's clear Squid the Whale don't follow the cookie cutter formula for teen listens and moderate flash in the pan success. Instead, they work to develop an intricate, stylistic presentation that exudes maturity and intensity simultaneously, while appealing to a larger audience. Without a doubt, new war. is perfect indication that such efforts have paid off. Whether you are a fan of the genre or not, take note of Squid the Whale.