The Squires of the Subterrain
"Slightly Radio Active"
Rocket Racket Records
I've been a fan of the Squire (Chris Earl) since the beginning. Same goes for Phil Marshall, who shows up with his guitar on The Squires of the Subterrain's brand new 12-song collection of quirky pop nuggets, "Slightly Radio Active." This has essentially been a one-man studio project, with the Squire in his South Wedge basement laboratory playing most of the instruments and producing it as well. (The album was mastered by Saxon's Dave Anderson). The Squire has banged out a ton of records down there.
What's different with this new album is its looseness and, in a few spots, its sloppiness. Now the looseness lends itself to humanizing the project as if it were all played with multiple live musicians as they tackle the Squire's sugary Beatles-esque, Big Star sound. To me, the occasional sloppiness indicates perhaps a rush to finish the project. But you'll hardly notice it as "Slightly Radio Active" fits nicely on the shelf in The Squires of the Subterrain's overall catalogue. A good record, just not the best.