Squid the Whale – Four More
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: January 30th, 2013
Michigan four-piece Squid the Whale seems to be music’s best kept secret right now, in the sense that they’re not very popular. Why? I have no clue, because they’re extremely talented musicians, and talented as a whole band as well. I first listened to this band a couple years ago, when they released the EP New War; they had it for pay what you want on their Bandcamp, for a brief time, so I downloaded it, and ended up loving it. It’s a fantastic EP that does show off what they’re made of. However, it only showed a glimpse of that talent. The same goes for the very aptly named Four More. All in all, it’s just four more songs. This band is kind of like an exotic dancer who teases the audience by showing just a bit of skin, and leaving the rest to imagination. I know that probably sounded awkward, but the band doesn’t show their full potential with these EPs; it’s almost as if they’re teasing us, the listeners. We know they have a lot of talent, and potential, so why they’re releasing EPs still is beyond me. Regardless, though, this EP is essentially just like New War – not very much to offer, but still a great dose of the band. Now only if they could release a full record, which would be fantastic. The biggest gripe I have with this EP is just that; it’s way too short. It’s not a very big concern, but I feel very displeased, because I’m left wanting more. As a music fan, that’s a bit selfish, I know, but you can’t help but want more from a band you enjoy, right? The EP itself is nice, so let’s take a look at these four more songs, shall we?
The EP begins with my favorite track, “Bad Man.” The band actually released two versions of this song. As a bonus track, they released a version without the intro, which is just a pair of female singers singing the chorus in harmony while acapella. The regular version is pretty cool, and it leaves me really excited for the song to start, so I do like the regular version a bit more. This song, though, really shows the band at their best; it’s very catchy, yet ferocious at the same time. It’s ferocious in a melodic sense, though. The melodies are huge, and the choruses are catchy. It seems they go by the phrase, “Go big, or go home.” They go big, and they don’t plan on going home. The real star of this song, and EP itself, is vocalist Bradley Walden. His voice is extremely unique for the genre, but yet it fits this sound down to the tee. His voice reminds me of vocalists like Kurt Travis, Jonny Craig, and Patrick Stump even; it’s very soulful, but still fits with the music itself. His voice almost has this kind of “swagger” to go with it. He completely dominates whatever song he’s on, no matter what the song sounds like. His voice always kills it, and that’s easily the best part of this EP. Lyrically, this song, and the whole EP, is interesting as well. Nothing I haven’t heard before, but nothing cheesy, or generic, either. It’s a great balance, and works very well. Second track, “Drown Pt. II” is a sequel of a track “Drown” that appeared on New War, which is a very slowed down, piano ballad. This song I like, but I’m not crazy about it, for one reason – it’s oddly misplaced. If they put this track at the end of the EP, I’d like it more, but they put right after a very energetic and fun song. This song is completely the opposite. It’s somber, quiet, and very slow, basically. It almost seems to drag on after a little while. With that being said, it’s not a bad song, it’s just so out of sync with the EP. And that’s even more strange because third track, “How Do I Show These Cowboys I’m Alive” is also quite energetic, and really cool. This is another song that shows the band’s sound as well, but aside from that, it’s not too great, either. Last song, “Warden Sings the Blues” is one of the more interesting tracks, because it’s a very bluesy track, and the title kind of gives that away. This is a nice closing track, because while it’s different from the other songs, it has that closing song vibe. It’s just, this EP does leave me wanting more, and it’s conflicting, because it leaves me wanting more in a good way, and a bad way. It leaves me wanting more in a good way because I want to hear more from this band, but the bad way comes in the fact that I wish this EP was longer. Regardless, though, this is a band I would recommend to anyone who’s really into bands like Circa Survive, Tides of Man, I The Mighty, and bands like that. This is really worth checking out, because this is a band that is unique, but only has shown us a bit of what they’re truly made out of.