Day 218: Squeeze – East Side Story

4 Oct

Tempted

I’ll admit it. I figured that this would be your typical Dad Rock Tuesday post.  I was expecting to once again fumble through 250 or so words about why old music just doesn’t speak to me or something.  Squeeze’s East Side Story is a little too good for that nonsense, though.

The weirdest thing about this album is that, off the top of my head, I can name quite a few modern bands that appear to be influenced by these guys.  This record’s usual carefree and upbeat sound reminds me a bit of the jittery treble guitars of Vampire Weekend.  Front man Glenn Tilbrook, strangely enough, sounds a bit like Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, especially in Someone Else’s Heart.  Both MGMT and Muse are called to mind as well on the synth-filled extra-new-wavy tracks.

I’m especially surprised by all of this because Squeeze isn’t usually thought of  as an extremely influential band.  They’re mainly known for their radio-friendly hits from the ’80s.  Speaking of which, about Tempted…I guess I never really sat down and listened to it before.  It’s not a bad song.

Now, I’m not one of those guys who hates everything that’s on the radio (I’d say it’s probably around 85% hate), but when I made the Squeeze/Tempted connection, that’s when I first figured that this would be another crappy DRT record.  I’m always glad to be proven wrong.

One final point: this band is versatile! From synth-pop to standard rock, Squeeze covers all of the radio-ready bases.  This all makes for a record that never gets boring, but somehow remains cohesive.  Now, I just need to get over that awful album art.

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2 Responses to “Day 218: Squeeze – East Side Story”

  1. Chopsford and Tillbrook October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    Good album. You omitted to mention the producers though: Elvis Costello and (on I think one track) Nick Lowe’s sometime bandmate Dave Edmunds. Check out the album before this, Argybargy, if you ever get the chance.

  2. Yuanny Dollar October 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I saw these guys live last year and they were still very sharp. Missing Paul Carrack didn’t hurt at all, but missing Jools Holland did. Glenn Tilbrook handled the Tempted vocal pretty well. The amazing thing was that I had forgotten just how many great songs they made. They were on a bill with Cheap Trick and, in the end, you wanted Cheap Trick to play Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me and then Surrender about 15 times. For Squeeze, they really played a dozen songs that, once I remembered them, I was glad to hear.

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