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JANUARY 2019: Writhing Squares

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(Squares photo by Melissa Centurio)

I first became aware of "The Squares" when I was driving Dick Diver on their (hopefully not) last U.S. Tour in 2014. Their tour had been so-so thus far, & we pulled together a super last minute instore gig at the Philadelphia Record Exchange on July 3rd, with a day off afterwards on the 4th. We honestly weren't expecting too much from it, but the crew in Philly really came thru. Word got out & the place was packed. It was a "donation" situation at the door & people were digging deep. Sold a ton of merch and met a ton of people who I now call great friends, like Chris from Paradise of Bachelors who graciously put us up for two nights & took us out too see one of the most amazing sets of street fireworks I've ever seen to this day. Anyhoo, I digress - the instore went swimmingly, the band was stoked & afterwards I had some time to browse & do some record shopping. I was on a fairly limited budget, but I managed to find some killer 7-inches, including an early Honey Radar record & an OG copy of the Dead C's "Sun Stabbed" EP (which I'm told might have been one of Tom Lax's spare copies, but I can't confirm that), but the takeaway here is that nestled on the wall next to the Dead C record was a 7-inch that looked interesting. I asked Max behind the counter what the scoop was with that record; "Local band, two-piece - one of the guys is right over there! Bass, sax & drum machine. I'm pretty sure this is that last copy so if you want it I'd get it now". That's all you had to say; SOLD

(Writhing Squares "Gemini Blues" 7-inch)

After coming home I spun it incessantly - it blew my head clean off! Rooted in proggy space rock (yer Hawkwind's & yer Brainticket's) & nihilistic Seventies sludge (Stooges, Suicide) but also in the scuzzy back o' the trunk rock Philly has been cookin' these past few years like Watery Love, Storks, Sparrow Steeple/Fieldhands, Long Hots, Spacin', Taiwan Housing Project, etc, etc. I reached out to the band saying I dug 'em & if they were game we'd love to chat about releasing something at some point in the future. Months later I was able to meet Dan in person at a Purling Hiss gig in Chicago. He & I hit it off & he agreed to send us some recordings that ended up becoming their first album (released on Siltbreeze). We were VERY into it, but they had a specific timeline they wanted to meet & we couldn't do that so we all ultimately agreed on "maybe next time". We had our shot two years later & took it. The first album "In The Void Above" was (and still is) amazing, but "Out of the Ether" is a step towards the event horizon; a zap to the brain, and a cosmic, churning, snarling beast of an album that somehow seems both startlingly minimal & world-crushingly heavy at the same time. No small feat for a duo. I am 100% confident that whatever they come up with next will be even better, and we'll be ready.

Nab your copy of "Out of the Ether" HERE

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