Squarehead | Yeah Nothing

Richter Collective (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  September 13, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

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Amidst Dublin's vibrant musical underground of DIY labels like Popical Island and Richter Collective, this debut long-player by surf-pop trio Squarehead is one of the city's most anticipated 2011 indie releases. Following the band's buzzed-about singles and spots opening for Titus Andronicus, Male Bonding, and No Age, Yeah Nothing is brimming with hit after hit of youthful punky power pop. With vocalist/guitarist Roy Duffy's Brian Wilson falsetto and sticky one-liners, plus bassist Ian McFarlane's harmonies, and Ruan van Vliet (of Tieranniesaur and Groom) on drums, Squarehead are a Wipers-inspired take on Phil Spector sensibilities. All 12 tracks — songs about girls, boredom, rock and roll, whiskey-induced adventures — could be singles. Sixties classics shine clearest on the chugging bass and "ooh-ahhs" of "Save Yourself," whereas stand-out track "Circle" shows off tight drumming, flat-affect harmonies, and the best hook of the bunch. The anthemic chorus and catchy handclaps of album closer/first single "Fake Blood" initially put Squarehead on Ireland's indie-rock map early last summer, and the hazy, laid-back vibes of "Get Light" might recall 2009's buzzy "beach pop" explosion. But of all the beach-pop records to surface since then, Yeah Nothing — over a year in the making — ranks high amongst the most thoughtful and timeless.
 
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