As the creative side of the music industry spirals to fill the ever increasing room given to it by modern technology, there is still a lot to be said for brevity. A perfectly formed three minute song is always something to behold, as is an album that does what it needs to do and then buggers off before it outstays its welcome. Squarehead would seem to appreciate this, having grabbed our attention with a succession of snappy singles and now, a debut long player that comes in at a neat 36 minutes – all recorded in just eight days to boot.
By rights then, Yeah Nothing should be right up our alley. Sadly, though, it’s not quite. It heads in the right direction for sure, but doesn’t quite manage to reach its destination. The trio have set themselves an apparently straightforward task – to come up with 12 catchy, guitar and harmony driven pop songs. Yet, as past experience has proved, that’s not always as easy as it looks and in Squarehead’s case, they just fall short. That’s not to say that what’s on offer is awful (we’d be lying if we said we didn’t tap a toe on more than one occasion) it’s just for a band that pretty much offers nothing but the song, the raw material isn’t quite there.
The speedy approach to recording does them no favours either. Whereas a bit of extra production could have helped lift the songs, it all sounds extremely similar and not just a little flat. The harmonies and jangling guitars fail to sparkle, and what could have been a record that crackled with ’50s style energy or ’60s sunshine has a tendency to plod. Indeed, it feels a lot longer than it actually is – never a good sign. Placing the genuinely great ‘Fake Blood’ at the end does ensure they finish on a high, but in reality Yeah Nothing is not as good as it might have been and not near what we had hoped for.