TITLE: KEEP YOUR LEGS STRAIGHT WHEN YOU HIT THE WATER
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
One of the newest bands in the alternative scene, forming in the summer of 2017, Sheffield trio Squarewave have made tremendous steps towards reaching the mainstream over the course of sixteen short months. Consisting of Harry Vincent, Charlie James, and Oliver Credland, Squarewave have proven to be a hard-working collective, dedicated to their art and developing a comfortable style. This work ethic led to the release of their debut studio album, ‘Keep Your Legs Straight When You Hit The Water’.
The record plays as an experiment; testing out a range of sounds and a combination of rock elements, mixing together slight punk, nostalgic indie, and their self-proclaimed taste of alternative rock. The band’s first single from the record, ‘While It Lasts’, is an example of how the band takes influences from the indie rock genre that within the last decade became far less mainstream and is now considered a classic genre of British music. ‘While It Lasts’ excels in the band’s use of lead guitar: always the standout star in a rock group, but the talent that this track showcases is a talent that will prove to listeners stumbling across Squarewave that this is a band worth paying attention to.
“a band worth paying attention to.”
This single differs from the record’s opening track, ‘Clarity’. Coming just short of two minutes, it is more acoustic than most tracks on the record and is a musical welcome for listeners; almost a true introduction. With an anti-climactic percussion build-up and impressive vocals, it’s a warm welcome as it leads into the following track, ‘Insects’.
‘Insects’ is a track focusing on heartache and misfortune and the first true taste of what the band want to put out into the music world. This is the alternative sound they’ve been working on over the past year and are still practicing and perfecting, wishing to get it right. This is a step in the right direction at least, as the musical talent is showcased almost straightaway from the viewpoint of vocals, percussion, and furthermore from the guitar. Used as the concluding solo to see the song out, the instrumental use is not too over-the-top and yet not too subtle.
The next track differs once more from what came before it, in the form of the more upbeat, slightly punk-laced track, ‘Static’. Playing up to its title, the song creates an electric atmosphere as it takes the band to the heavier side of the spectrum. This track, however, does bring a mismatch between the vocals and the instrumental accompaniment to the ears, which could be experienced on a short selection of other tracks in the record. In an unfortunate twist to a great course of work for the band, having this mismatch can be to their detriment – but that is not the solid end to their credibility. As a band one could describe as still brand new, adjusting to working as one instead of as individuals, they have more than enough time in their future to iron out these creases. It would be a testament to see the group continue to grow and mature into their sound.
“energetic, powerful, emotional, and overall fun yet relaxing to listen to”
“How is there justification for this being a reality?” The record’s penultimate track ‘Perspective’. A track showing once more the heavier rock influences channeled by the band; however, on this track, the vocals seem to match better with the instruments used throughout. This can represent how quickly and how easily it can be to improve one’s musical direction and stay along a path, steadying, while still being laid out.
For a three-piece new and still learning to make a mark in the industry of British music, Squarewave are far from realising the complete style that works best for them. Being very early on in their musical journey together, on the other hand, it would be quite harsh to dismiss them. What they have produced thus far is energetic, powerful, emotional, and overall fun yet relaxing to listen to. There is space for them to keep moving forward and get to their 100% comfort zone.
Keen listeners should keep an eye on Squarewave in 2019; they may surprise the world.