Together with similar bands like Black Country, New Road or Black Midi, Squid breathed new life into English guitar music with their début album »Bright Green Field« two years ago. Now the follow-up »O Monolith« has finally been released. The album is an impressive demonstration of how far the Brighton quintet have come, and in what surprising directions they have grown. The screaming post-punk guitars are still there, as well as drummer Olli Judges’ sometimes screeching vocals and the tendency to speed up songs until they suddenly hit the wall and break off.
But there are so many other elements and new influences in the just eight new songs on the album: from highly present synth melodies and even the odd ambient surface to the use of vocoders on »Siphon Song«, rhythmic indietronica (»The Blades«) and borrowings from post or math rock. When it comes to the content of their lyrics, Squid still rant about the state of British society, but now they combine their very real grievances with a twisted understanding of spirituality. On »Undergrowth«, for example, they ask whether you might be reincarnated as a chest of drawers in the next life, or on the closing track they cynically reflect on the centuries-old relationship between rats and humans – so »O Monolith« also has a lot to offer lyrically. The updated Squid sound is still very intense and compelling, but also more playful, more open and even more unpredictable.