Squid – Bright Green Field

If Squid are the guitar boys' buzz band of the moment, some are going to get a little more than they bargained for on their debut LP

Album Review by Tony Inglis | 03 May 2021
  • Squid - Bright Green Field
Album title: Bright Green Field
Artist: Squid
Label: Warp Records
Release date: 7 May

Why are Englishmen obsessed with their countryside? Whether euologising or demonising, the pastoral landscapes, quiet, anonymous towns and parochial inwardness have been fertile ground for artists across mediums, from XTC to Ben Wheatley. Brighton five-piece Squid’s take is less discovering the village is harbouring a hidden cult and more how all its residents have been turned into paranoiac zombies by the ever-suffocating shiny, digital world outside.

That’s what defines the strength of their debut full-length record, compiled wholly from new songs and not repackaging any of their strong, intriguing one-off EP and single releases. When Bright Green Field follows in the footsteps of their best track The Cleaner – supercharging the banal and mundane with vigour and purpose – it rips, mixing genres like straight-ahead indie-rock with funk and jazz, and exploring ambient and textural backdrops which make their now-home Warp apt.

Boy Racer ends in a burst of extraterrestrial noise, played on a medieval rackett. But on Global Groove, the atonal guitars and for-the-sake-of-it sonic experimentation is paired with a rather tired metaphor about becoming numb to tragedy by television, which sounds trite.

The sweet spot is Narrator, an eight-and-a-half-minute jam that explores how men have controlled the voices of women through art and media with the help of Martha Skye Murphy which works surprisingly well, climaxing in wailing and noise. If Squid are the guitar boys buzz band of the moment, some are going to get a little more than they bargained for.

Listen to: Narrator, Boy Racers, Peel St