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Squid O Monolith album cover
3.89 | 17 ratings | 1 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2023

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swing (In a Dream) (4:29)
2. Devil's Den (3:05)
3. Siphon Song (5:58)
4. Undergrowth (6:36)
5. The Blades (6:28)
6. After the Flash (5:34)
7. Green Light (4:24)
8. If You Had Seen the Bull's Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away (5:14)

Total Time 41:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Ollie Judge / lead vocals, drums
- Louis Borlase / guitar, bass, vocals
- Anton Pearson / guitar, bass, vocals, percussion
- Laurie Nankivell / bass, brass, percussion
- Arthur Leadbetter / keyboards, strings, percussion

- Henry Terrett / percussion (1,4,5,6,8)
- Zands Duggan / percussion (1,2,4,8)
- Dylan Humphreys / woodwinds (2,4,6,7)
- Nicholas Ellis / woodwinds (2,4,6,7)
- Martha Sky Murphy / vocals (6)
- Natalie Whiteland / harp (6)
- Roger Bolton / Fairlight CMI programming (4)

Releases information

Label: Warp Records
Formats: CD, LP, Digital
June 9, 2023

Thanks to projeKct for the addition
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SQUID O Monolith ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SQUID O Monolith reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Despite 7 EP releases since their 2016 debut single ("Perfect Teeth"), this Brighton-based band has only released two full-length studio albums. This is the second.

1. "Swing (In a Dream)" (4:29) fairly calm and straightforward compared to the frenetic ride they put me through on their Bright Green Field debut. (8.75/10)

2. "Devil's Den" (3:05) definitely showing signs of going chamber prog with the avant-jazz brass and winds over the the first 1:50 while vocalist (Ollie?) sing-talks within the mix. But then all hell breaks loose with some real BLACK MIDI-like abrasive dynamism and dissonance. Interesting. The vocalist singing in the final 40 seconds definitely sounds like the half-deranged Ollie from Bright Green Fields. (8.875/10)

3. "Siphon Song" (5:58) slow variant-military drumming with spacey synth and then robot-like voice treatments build this song slowly into something Perhaps the "siphon" in the title refers to the tube-like vocal treatment effect Ollie's voice has been given. (Not quite as distorted as Peter Frampton or Joe Walsh during their use of the "talkbox" vocal effect in the 1970s). Male vocal chorus in the background gives the song an unusual and very interesting effect. As the song really wants you to tune into the lyrics--which are delivered in a very monotone talkbox voice--I find myself at an extreme disadvantage as I don't hear lyrics. (8.875/10)

4. "Undergrowth" (6:35) after a rather subdued RED HOT CHILI PEPPERs opening 90-seconds, we finally have lead singer Ollie Judge bursting out into the half-crazed BEASTIE BOYS-like vocal style he used so much on Bright Green Fields. It's almost comforting to feel and hear Ollie still getting so emotional about his verbal messages; I'd hate to see/hear him totally lose (or discard) that style of expression. A rather simple groove and construct that is absolutely stuffed-to-the-brim with nuanced and intermittent instrumental interjections. My favorite song on the album. (9.125/10)

5. "The Blades" (6:28) more RED CHILI PEPPERS-like eclectic music opening this one before Ollie arrives giving us a very British Indie Rock vocal performance--at least, that is, until the 1:40 mark when he throws his ARTO LINDSAY/DAVID BYRNE-like vocal epithets out with the abrasive guitar chords. Another BLACK MIDI-like interlude at the three-minute mark turns back into with lots of brass-like sounds filling the in-between spaces. Things really amp up (and gel) at the four-minute mark. This is really cool! Then everyone drops out to make way for some slow-picked guitar arpeggi backing Ollie's subdued, tired-sounding almost spoken vocal. Actually a very cool if totally unorthodox song. A top three song.(9/10)

6. "After the Flash" (5:34) dreamy synth backgrounds over which guitars and rhythm section tromp around like an increasingly-impatient elephant. All the while, Ollie recites his invective in a Paul Weller/ THE JAM kind of way. In the song's final minute, Ollie and the band kind of lose it: all grounding in reality is lost and they fall apart. (8.7/10)

7. "Green Light" (4:23) some Afro-beats from guitars and percussion open this one before the band bursts into full avant punk mode. PRIMUS and THE AMBITIOUS LOVERS are brought to mind (and, of course, BLACK MIDI--sorry, Guys). (8.6666667/10)

8. "If You Had Seen the Bull's Swimming Attempts You Would Have Stayed Away" (5:14) more music that sounds as if it came out of the rap era that brought us The Beastie Boys and Vanilla Ice. Choral vocals in the third minute with synth strings joining in with the Ska rhythm palette during the third and fourth minutes. Very cool bass-based section in the fourth and fifth minutes as Ollie and chorus recite a repeating list of snake-bite treatment protocol descriptors. Very interesting! (9/10)

The music on o Monolith feels so much more tame and straightforward than that of their 2021 debut--as if the band have (mostly) "grown out" of their punk "phase." The music is so much more reliant on its many nuances and subtleties--especially as lyricist/vocalist Ollie Judge is not quite as adolescent aggressive as he was on Bright Green Fields. Perhaps a few years have allowed Ollie the room to see that anger, frustration, and disappointment can be vented through more subdued, (barely) controlled methods.

B/four stars; an excellent adventure into music that is fairly new and refreshing--something most prog lover's would probably enjoy if only for the experience.

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