Giant Squid
Metridium Fields

I’m not sure if there is a more perfect marriage of label and band than The End Records re-recording and releasing Giant Squid’s 4 year old debut record. Though certainly falling under the doom/sludge/ambient umbrella of the likes of Isis, Neurosis, Pelican and Mogwai, as you’d expect from a band on The End, Giant Squid take the paradigms of a known genre and turn it upside down.

With such an avant garde take on the usual, droning ebbs and flows of the genre, and as with new label mates Sleepy Time Gorilla Museum, Metridium Fields is a challenging listen, especially vocally, but one that is completely worth it. The mix of System of Down-ish wailing, monkish chants, female singing and Isis like roars somehow complements the hallucinogenic, Yellow Submarine, other worldly, ambient experimentation that flows throughout Metridium Fields, but will be the barrier for casual or curious listeners. Musically, a slightly Middle Eastern vibe (“Neonate”) and the odd brass band injections that litter the robust, introspective, post rock swathes (“Ampullae of Lorenzini”, “Revolution in the Water”), is a interesting addition to the ebbs and lulls, replete with ambient tangents and unpredictable forays into lengthy, lounging bouts of hazy stupor (“Namor Verses Siren”, “Summit”).

However, a couple of pointless, programmed tangents (“Megaptera in the Delta”, “Eating Machine”, the slightly drawn out title track ) do interrupt the overall, maritime flow of the album’s excellence Billy Anderson’s (Neurosis, High On Fire) production is unexpectedly clean and highlights the bands extraneous sounds, and the end result is a lush tapestry of artful and typically engaging, genre defying music from The End Records

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 22nd, 2006

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