Squarehead - 'Yeah Nothing' (Richter Collective) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 05:00

squareheadDublin trio Squarehead specialise in mixing up jangly '50s inspired indie garage rock with the sound of '60s California sunshine and, with this, their debut long player, they give us 12 tracks of summery surf pop. Recorded in just eight days, it's an album packed with laid back pop melodies, infectious hooks and enough sweet harmonies to keep the average listener interested.

 

Opening tune 'Midnight Enchilada' is a fine two minutes and twenty seconds of surf pop, just enough jangle and distortion to please all, its melody floats along like a summer breeze over the top of an effective and immediate drum beat. 'Save Yourself' follows in the same vein, bringing to mind the more poppy commercial elements of Ramones songs such as 'Rockaway Beach' wrapped up in classic Beach Boys harmonies, it's a song that has the ability to make your head move from side to side without you realising it.

 

After this things start to repeat themselves a bit; 'Get Light' is a bit dull and too repetitive to the point of being annoying, but I do like parts of it, which annoys me even more. 'Mother Nurture' has a sweet indie melody that gets under the skin and 'Tasty Fruit' puts Roy Duffy's voice to good use with some nice Beach Boys falsetto. 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' nods its head in the direction of The Wonderstuff with its indie pop sensibilities, as do the sweet, quirky melodies of 'Fear Your Face'. 'Circle' lifts the overall feel near the end, a more indie/punk fuelled number it's the only song that veers off the beaten track and for that is a highlight. 'Fake Blood' brings things to a close with its Beach Boys "whoo whoos" and is a fine sounding tune ending things on a high.

 

The only trouble with 'Yeah Nothing' is that as an album it all sounds samey, all the songs are of a similar tempo and follow pretty much the same familiar formula, but saying that it is a good formula. Each song stands up on its own, yet it does seem at times like a singles compilation rather than an album. It would have been nice to hear a bit more variety between the songs, but hey some people stick to what they know best. It worked for the Ramones, right? As to whether the infectious melodies outweigh the recurring ones only time and more repeated listens will tell.

 

If Black Rebel Motorcycle Club had cut their teeth in '60s California jamming with Brian Wilson then the finished product could well have been akin to 'Yeah Nothing', but back in the real world Squarehead succeed in producing a decent debut packed with quality tunes albeit similar sounding ones, they have a charm that draws me to repeated listening and that can only be a good thing.

 

Wonder where the summer sunshine went? Recapture a piece of it by listening to Squarehead's debut, then nod your head and raise a smile.

 

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