Hey reader! Are you angsty? Do you wanna dance about it and not give a flying fuck? Or maybe you care just that bit too much? Well perhaps you should give a short, hard listen to Tasmanian folk-punk/indie-rock quartet Squid Fishing. These young musicians have created a sound that dwells roughly in the vicinity of Modern Baseball, Rachel Maria Cox Band and beating your own reflection to death in a stranger’s kitchen whilst wearing red gumboots.
Lead singer Zena’s vocal delivery jumps from sweet, soft and angelic, to fearsome, impassioned, and soulful in an instant. Heavy with character and painted with aurally pleasing voice-cracks her melismatic, drawn-out bellow delivers lyrical content at times seething and fuelled with rage, and at other times apathetic to the point of simply accepting all the bullshit flung at her by the unforgiving mistress of life.
In songs such as Hectic Jazz Funk you can almost hear her manic grin through the speakers as she verbally batters her own existence and “tears [her]self limb from limb”.
Musically eclectic, the band draws inspiration from a broad array of genres; punk, funk and jazz to name a few. Ethan’s swing influence shines through in the form of intriguing guitar licks and solos spattered throughout the songs. Almost Mayer-esque in his lead guitar style and onstage swagger he provides a somewhat jaunty, boppy sound which works surprisingly well in juxtaposition to the serious, vehement nature of the lyrics. Then again maybe I’m just a sucker for a depressing song performed happily. (It feels better out than in, right?)
Overall the band’s musical feel is indie-rock. It’s catchy, it’s hooky, it makes you want to dance, and yet the ethos seems more in the vein of folk-punk with rampant self-deprecation and anger hurled passionately towards oneself and society. These folk-punk influences can be found most heavily in their earlier EP, The Day the Puddle Flooded the House; the days before the band had picked up their electric guitars and their playing style was more reminiscent of bands such as Andrew Jackson Jihad and Crywank.
Nowadays, with guitars jacked in, crunchier bass tones and a heavier rock drum feel, the band are definitely something to behold. Taking to stage with a youthful exuberance, you can really tell that these guys love playing music and, more importantly, love playing music together. They own the stage with busy, moving feet and smiles on their faces; taking moments just to have fun interacting with one another and enjoy the bliss that comes with playing their music together. That being said, the crowd is certainly not ignored during a Squid Fishing show. Zena’s intense gaze wanders the crowd, fixing on individuals within the sea of sweaty, dancing bodies, Zen’s cheeky grin induces the same giddy, face-straining action in fans, and their between-song banter commonly dissolves into full room conversations between the band and punters.
A slow-down in gig announcements seems to suggest the band are busy in the process of writing and/or recording so keep your earballs peeled for new music from these strong, young Tassie performers, and in the meantime go wrap yourselves around their 2017 EP How the House Breathes.