Squirrel Bait - Squirrel Bait (Cover Artwork)

Squirrel Bait

Squirrel Bait: Squirrel BaitSquirrel Bait (1985)
Drag City

Reviewer Rating: 5

Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There is a certain something...maybe it's in the water, maybe the beer, I don't know and I'm not sure I even want to know. One thing that's for sure though, is that "something" is an anomaly almost entirely self-contained within the Midwestern United States. That is an ability to perfectly create ag.
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There is a certain something...maybe it's in the water, maybe the beer, I don't know and I'm not sure I even want to know. One thing that's for sure though, is that "something" is an anomaly almost entirely self-contained within the Midwestern United States. That is an ability to perfectly create aggressive punk rock that is just as serious about being melodic and honest as it is about rocking your pants off and never forgetting the reach around. But I digress; there are two non-Midwestern bands that should automatically spring to mind when such a description is uttered in some dank sweaty bar after getting into a fight with a lampshade -- the first being Montreal's the Nils and the second being the band in question: Louisville's Squirrel Bait.

If you open up to the back of the album insert you will find the priceless picture of two kids dancin' up something strong. That pretty much sums up this record. It is that awkward kid brother at a show that gets tanked off a thimble of peach Schnapps and makes a total ass of himself but looks like he's having all the fun (you know the kid, hell, I was that kid). From the beginning of guitarist David Grubbs' reverberated squeals and wails opening up before the vocals kick in on "Hammering So Hard" it would appear to mimic the young lad's unintelligible version of "up yours!" You know, before that foul crusty punk with the Fear patch taps him on the shoulder and says, "punx don't dance, we boogie." The most representative kernel of the band's style would have to be during "Sun God." The verses build around a tender but never weak guitar line while maintaining an edge of muscle that only climaxes during the chorus after the appropriate foreplay that precedes it. The repeated lines of "ticking away" in the chorus are belted out so desperately by vocalist Peter Searcy's rasp that it somehow simultaneously conveys a sense of nihilism and hopefulness.

The band keeps things short and sweet with the eight songs clocking in at less than 20 minutes. Every song maintains the same hard and catchy formula but none blend into each other because for the most part the melodies are pretty original. After this swift kick in the pants you should be left wanting more, however if any more were added it would seem to offset the delicate balance created within the disc.

This is a truly perfect record, and not because it is old but because it perfectly captures the essence of the teenage experience of rockÔ??n'roll. I must admit though, if the adage "the older the berry the sweeter the juice" ever held true, this album fits into that. The only downside to the record is no lyric booklet, which would help, but a lot of the lyrics can be picked out without too much difficulty. So bottom line: if you like H├╝sker D├╝ or the Replacements' more rocking moments, give Squirrel Bait a chance and you probably won't regret it in the morning.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 21, 2006)

Concur with the Skag Heaven snetiments but make no mistake this is an all itme great album. I always thought these guys would have been pretty big if the had they hit the scene about six or eight years later. And lest we forget Bastro!

Rich27 (December 21, 2006)

Awesome band - would love to get these on CD as the vinyl is being stored at a friends house.

SloaneDaley (December 20, 2006)

Slint is a great band and all they just don't grab me the way Squirrel Bait does, very different stuff. Should I have mentioned them? probably. I have a feeling the average person doesn't care much about Slint or Squirrel Bait when they really should.

Anonymous (December 20, 2006)

.not mentioning slint in this review was blasphemy

Anonymous (December 19, 2006)

perfect album. slint!

Anonymous (December 19, 2006)

Slintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslin tslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslintslint

you should probably mention that members of this band went on to be in the almight slint!

this is a pretty good record.

squirrelbait (December 19, 2006)

Good to see a Squirrel Bait on here. This and Skag Heaven are definitely amongst my favorite albums of the 80s..

SloaneDaley (December 19, 2006)

I'm still not sure why this review came out so sexual

SloaneDaley (December 19, 2006)

yeah it doesn't have the song "Kid Dynamite", but few records have a song like that.

nineden (December 19, 2006)

This record is good but the follow-up, Skag Heaven, is an absolute must-own.

Anonymous (December 19, 2006)

oh my god my drunken Squirrel Bait review!

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