Album Review: Squid- Town Centre


Image Source: Stereogum

Julia Morgan

Despite only having only four tracks in total, Town Centre is a truly dynamic and compelling musical experience rivaling that of any full-length album. This debut EP by Squid perfectly exhibits the full extent of their musical creativity and versatility, both revisiting and emphasizing the post-punk sound of their two previous singles and taking things a step further, to the point where it almost feels experimental.

The EP opens with “Savage”, an entirely instrumental introductory track that feels more like a film score than a rock song. Heavily featuring disjointed strings, horns, synths, and a foreboding white noise played throughout, listening to this track is like listening to some retro-futuristic orchestra warm-up for their big performance—and I mean that in the absolute best way.

The second track, “Match Bet”, starts immediately with the energetic post-punk sound that Squid is known for, complete with lead singer/drummer Ollie Judge’s distinctive shouting vocals. It is catchy and angry and ends with a haunting trumpet breakdown that hits just right.

The third and arguably the best track on the EP is “The Cleaner”, a seven-and-a-half-minute masterpiece exhibiting Squid at the top of their game. It’s chocked full of lyrical storytelling, dramatic tempo changes, and composition reminiscent of the Talking Heads and other early post-punk bands. If you take nothing else from this review, know that this song is definitely worth a listen.

The final track on the album, “Rodeo”, takes a step back from the high energy of the previous two, revisiting the slower, disjointed, and ambient themes of “Savage”. The lyrics read like the ramblings of a mad actor, delivered in an Echo and the Bunnymen sing-speak style. It’s evocative and ethereal and the perfect end to the album.

Overall, Town Centre is a fantastic debut EP that I highly recommend listening to—and doing so in the intended track order for the best experience. It truly only suggests great things to come from this band.


RIYL: Talking Heads, Echo and the Bunnymen, IDLES, Fontaines, Drahla

Recommended Tracks: 2, 3