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Friday, December 2, 2011

Echoreview: Doctor Squid "Changes the Channel"

Doctor Squid has carved out quite a fanbase for itself here in Athens.  Not one to remain content coloring within the lines, this band redefines fun with their undeniably catchy pop rock and their massive yearly holiday events.  Even if you think you've never heard a Doctor Squid song before, it's more than likely that, when their hit On My Way - better known as the Whoa song - starts playing, you'll sing along.  This Monday at the fourth annual Squidmas celebration at the Melting Point, they'll be releasing their long-awaited second album Changes the Channel.  So how does this one measure up?

Through Your Eyes sets the tone for the album with a much slower and softer tune than many of their earlier hits.   However, singer Larry's Weezer-like voice quality and near falsetto sound brings this laidback tune straight into the classic and distinctive Doctor Squid style. Following this, Regret It and Let It, an upbeat and bouncy fan favorite from their live shows, dances in.  Always a crowd pleaser, there's something about this one that also makes it seem like a perfect choice for just laying back and basking in the happiness of a good day as well.

Another familiar one for fans of their shows, Carry On gives a rock-filled introspective take on picking up the pieces and moving on from a hard situation.  It almost feels like something from a 90s sitcom but only in the best way possible in that it brings on positive vibes and good memories.  The very poppy and very indie As Soon As I Discern, though featuring a definite difference in sound, has quite a similar feel to it.  Undoubtably one of my very favorite tunes since I fell in love with it at one of their live shows many months ago, the next track You Got It has a surprise in store for longtime fans.  To add this song as a cohesive piece to the new album, the lyrics were altered quite a bit which will definitely take some getting used to.  However, either way, I just can't get enough of this one.

Come Around stands apart from every other Doctor Squid song I've ever heard.  More of a melancholy and mature ballad layered with rock and flavored with wonderful harmony, it brings another level of unexpected depth to the record.

Rock Solid, a fun return to their staple of passionately-yelled vocals, and If You Do, another bouncy favorite from the band's live shows, bring with them our next dose of the catchy and dance-inducing Doctor Squid style that never fails to put a smile on everyone's faces.  Likewise, To the Snow and Askew follow in the band's awesome and well-loved method of creating soft and slow pop tunes that burst into satisfying rock choruses.  I absolutely loved the style of Askew in particular.

The second to last tune Keeping Me Away starts off with a sound that is rather alien... Is there a musical saw in the house? It quickly morphs to become a softer pop song that, when joined with a rock style, gains a beat that begins to feel like a call to action.  Through Any Eyes, the perfect bookend track for the first song Through Your Eyes, capitalizes on Doctor Squid's unique style to create a very strong conclusion to the album.   A powerful anthem for moving on and standing on your own, this tune provides a wonderful ending to the record's cohesive lineup of songs about letting go and starting over.

This album is certainly quite a bit calmer, softer, and more subdued than their first one, but in many ways, it is also much more solid and well-put together.  Without a doubt, this record displays their incredible growth as a band.  And even when the subject matter is sadder or darker than one might expect, there's something about hearing this band's music that never fails to make the listener feel great.  Dying to get your hands on a copy of Doctor Squid Changes the Channel?  Don't miss their album release show this Monday with the Warm Fuzzies and Groove Tangent over at the Melting Point in Athens.  What a Squidmas this will be!


  1. Does the album cover not look like Pink Floyd's Division Bell meets the PBS face?–-The-Division-Bell.jpg

  2. Haha. I can definitely see the resemblance!