The Los Angeles-based band, comprised of Daniel Talton (guitar, vocals), Karter Mycroft (bass, keys), Csongor Erdélyi (lead guitar), and Max Pretzer (drums, vocals), have worked hard to define a unique sound all their own. After meeting at a friends house in Los Angeles, the members were united by their mutual influences and desire to create rock music that is as unconventional as it is relatable. Produced by Daniel Talton, Karter Mycroft, and Peter Novoa, the 12 tracks that make up their new album, “All Boys Leave Home Someday,” cultivate an emotional journey laid bare atop well crafted arrangements. It’s clear by the way Squid Cult fearlessly experiments with genres and emotional topics, their aim is to create music that feels as real as it sounds.
“We tried several different concepts, trying to preserve the sentimentality of the song without making another boring old rock video…We ended up with this kind of lo-fi spy thriller format, one that hopefully tells a coherent story without taking itself too seriously.”
The opening track, “Willie” bursts to life with punk-infused instrumentation, masterfully chaotic and cohesive at the very same time. On “Rattlesnake” the band dives deep into an alt-country sound with screaming and distorted guitars that rage beneath a simmering emotional story. As the protagonist wanders the desert, destitute and welcoming his most certain demise, listeners can sense the desperate thirst and uncertain wildness of the desert within the music itself. All howling vocals and buzzing screeches, it’s a mix of foot stomping blues and wild rock with an intense energy you won’t soon forget.
In just one short minute, “Paranoia” wails with psychedelia. Short and to the point, Talton’s unique vocals are standing center stage on this booming melodic moment. The blues are dripping with honeyed piano on the subtle, 1970’s-esque “Everybody Knows.” It rambles in all the right places with a quiet anger. Lead single, “Baby Blue” is an atmospheric, hypnotic track about rebirth. Awash in a sense of isolation and destitution, the wandering nature of the melody was born from a dream that Talton had and the inspiring landscape of the New Mexico desert. You can sense the broken soul wandering across sand, in search of something more, with every volatile hum of the chorus.
On “Angel Puke,” Erdelyi’s soaring lead guitar is a vibrant, desperate-to-be-let-loose sound that effortlessly captures the essence of the lyrical story. It’s the story of a caged spirit wrestling against the ties that bind it to the same, everyday nothing life. A powerful moment on its own, it’s buoyed by an incredible arrangement, one that hits listeners like a blazing heat on a red hot summer day.
The rhythmic jazz inspired, “Scenes from Subspace” combined a plethora of genres that pack a dynamic punch. A mostly instrumental experiment in sounds— it serves as cataclysmic interlude to what’s next. With “Hellish” things settle down again, if only for a moment, as Talton’s poignant vocals reflect on a love lost. Timid acoustic guitar is the introduction to the slow, subtle yet explosive surprise of a track that is, “The Urinal.” You never expect the electrifying build up and high intensity ending— but you’ll want to listen to it again and again.
The dusty, Memphis blues style track, “Red Bamboo” grooves its way right down a dirt road to the party of a lifetime. It makes you want to grab a cold beer and lose yourself in the rhythm of the music. Things end on an atmospheric, dream-like note with the effervescent “Last Man.” It’s yet another testament to the experimental nature of Squid Cult, one that has helped them to craft an album full of sounds stitched together from progressive rock, alt-country, jazz-punk, and other sounds that speak to their unique essence.
Be sure to check out Squid Cult’s simmering and diverse new album, “All Boys Leave Home Someday,” released on Septarian Records, August 3, 2018.