SQUIRM

SquirmHello
Meet Squirm - a band living in Christchurch New Zealand.
Squirm was born in 1992 when two friends Virgil Reality and Mike Hex joined forces with a rather anarchic drum-thrashing accountant named Hat to form a 'Progressive Art Punk Glam Rock Band'.

Well that was 1992, and since then Lawrence O'Blivion has replaced Hat on drums becoming the latest addition to the Squirm Family.

Whip Me Honey EP
'Whip Me Honey' is Squirm's five track single / EP / Mini LP containing two prime cut singles from the forthcoming album Mastermistakemaker and three essential tracks from the Squirm back catalogue exclusive to this EP plus "Voodoo" one of the standout tracks from the excellent Good Things Compilation.

These recordings have captured the sound, feel, and attitude of the band - Feedback, Beauty, Volume, and Chaos, all colliding in strangely askew pop songs. Tracks are - "Whip Me Honey", "Traumatize", "Feeding The Ground", "Voodoo", "Gone With The Weird", and "Mayhem". Feast Your Ears!

Recording
The recording of these songs was handled by Squirm themselves, in an effort to strip the recording process back to the basics and capture the essences of Squirm's Music - Songs, Musicians, and Instruments. The songs were laid down as spontaneously as possible mostly live to multitrack, but where appropriate anything from a Dictaphone to a crappy cassette deck has been used to capture the right moment. The whole EP and LP projects costing under $800.00 as a positive spin-off to this approach. The outstanding thing about the sound of these recordings is the complete appropriateness of the production for each track. No track sounds overproduced or underproduced, in fact the songs come out in such a way that you don't notice anything but the song.

As Virgil puts it "Bands tend to spend too much time and money on recording. Most studio situations are a rip off. You're told that to get a great-sounding record you've got to spend $20,000. That's bullshit! There are songs on our record recorded with a Dictaphone that sound great because that approach worked with that song, it's what the song required".

'Mastermistakemaker' Album
Mastermistakemaker is the album you never knew you'd always been waiting to hear. It comes out of nowhere and blows you away with its raw popness. Simple powered melodies and warped angularity. Captured 'just right' with the minimum of fuss this album contains 12 slices of Squirm including "Whip Me Honey", "Spoonbender", "Broken Planet", "Thou Art Golem", "West", "Love Is Love Is Love", "Cantankerous", "Bury Us Together", "Mouthbreather", "Drug Driven Bedroom Machine", "Gone With The Weird", and "Why Not Me".

Sonic pop twisters Squirm tamper with the very fabric of pop while worming contagious melodies though their crafted pop tunes. Love of a good melodic pop song with twisted, warped guitar lines wrought through them in anything but the obvious way around Squirm's infectious pop grooves. Feast Your Ears!

Reviews
"When they started they were a revelation; two guitars no bass, drums and keyboards (organ and sampling casiotone) - a masterful mixture of noisy guitar riffing and rockin' grind, just enough pop bits to offset just enough big fuzz rhythm guitar.... Squirm are like nothing you've heard before and everything you thought bands should be. All at once. If you know what I mean." Good Things Release Party J King - Rip It Up Magazine - August 1994

"No Mistake here mate! Squirm's album is an extended varied mutation of the Whip Me Honey EP. With "Whip Me Honey" the first album track, attention is grabbed, chorus and verse, loud abrasive guitars, and Squirm are in business. "Gone With The Weird" is just as impressive second time around, but only these two are on MMM - get the EP as well. The album ranges from the bare acoustic closer "Why Not Me" to severe sound bite barrage experiments "Drug Driven Bedroom Machine" and the memorable "Cantankerous". "West" is the way, the light and the rockin' good time ,and the Beatles progression on "Love Is Love Is Love" is an endearing distraction" - Brent Cardy - Real Groove Magazine - December 1994

"Following hot on the heels of last months 'Whip Me Honey' EP comes Mastermistakemaker, the debut album from Christchurch four piece Squirm. Like the EP they bring together a set of bizarre rock songs which provide a welcome alternative to much of the music which is around at the moment.
With many of the songs on the album , Squirm have managed to take some simple melodies and twist them around to build guitar songs which stand apart from what is accepted by most to be rock and pop of today.
Songs like "Broken Planet", "Cantankerous", "Us Together" and "Mouthbreather" pushed along by Virgil Reality's stung-out and blatantly honest vocals, all demonstrate the 'no holds barred' approach which Squirm have used to successfully separate themselves from anything else which you may hear or have heard.
But Mastermistakemaker ain't just full of scrambled Squirm rock and pop. They contrast the writhing, louder bits with songs like "Love Is Love Is Love", "Gone With The Weird", and "Why Not Me" which project the pure beauty of Squirm songs.
...An album presented in such a way that you can simply take it or leave it. But if your after something new and refreshing , you will want to take it, trust me." - Graeme Douglas - Caclin - November 1994

"Hot on the heels of the 'Whip Me Honey' five tracker release in September, MasterMistakeMaker is the debut album from this Christchurch band who delight in pulling apart the framework of pop and reassembling it with some extra pieces and some bits missing.
There are songs with no drums, some with no bass, some with samples, and some with organ, but always it seems there are guitars. If comparisons are called for, try Sonic Youth meeting The Fall in a gin soaked garage somewhere in central Christchurch. ... Fuzzed out songs such as 'Cantankerous' and 'Bury Us Together 'celebrate the weird well. There is a massive jump from these to the semi-acoustic garage styles of 'Gone With The Weird', Spoonbender, and 'Love is Love is Love', which could be Arlo Guthrie on some very strong substances. It closes on a simple love song, Why Not Me', that is almost guaranteed to pull the strings in your heart." - Darren Sharp - The Press - December 1994

"...but Squirm is one thing you don't do when you hear their single "Voodoo". Lead singer Virgil said the group liked to contrast beauty and ugliness in their music. As far as song writing goes, Virgil said it's a team affair. "We're very much a four legged table. It's not like one talent being backed by a band of performing monkeys".
With a few recordings under their belt Squirm have formed their own collective - Noseflute - to make sure they are able to do things their own way. "The Noseflute philosophy is quite parasitic really, it's the bloodsucking tick on the back of the music industry, but in a nice way. It's such a corrupt industry - we only want to do it on a certain level. It's all about getting our music out without compromise"
Live as you can imagine is where they're at their strongest. They love playing and their audience digs their enthusiasm, originality and spontaneity. Virgil on Squirm's planned national tour - "we just want to get out there and do it - throw pearls at a different herd of swine". Jo Crowley - Tearaway Magazine - September 1994

"Take one part 3Ds, one part of the nastiest bits of the Pixies, half a part of JPSE and a pinch of Drill, mix them up in Christchurch, and you might get an approximation of what Squirm sound like.
The title track is a sick little love song ("C'mon honey you can whip me all day"); big fuzz guitar base with wonderful, wiggy lead over the top. "Traumatize" is kind of like a dirtier, looser JPSE. "Feeding The Ground" has a Pixies-ish start, then cool guitar fiddling over driving bass and drums. The superb "Voodoo" is probably the highlight of the record; almost vintage Dunedin sound (I mean that in a caring way), plus a great guitar riff and sampled voices. "Gone With The Weird" is not too weird, just big strong and subtle. The press release boasts an EP and an album recorded for around $800, but there isn't a hint of low-fi about these five plus fabulous songs.
Squirm are the best new, good old fashioned, grunge free, noisy band I've heard in a long, long time. Get their record, see them play". J King - Rip it up Magazine - September 1994

"When listening to 'Whip Me Honey' you can immediately hear what sets Squirm apart from most other Christchurch bands. First there's the fact that Squirm aren't easily categorised as exponents of any international trend, whether it be anal retentive "indie guitar" or The Trip style grunge. Squirm are instead a "Rock Band", be it one that's a little fucked up, and that's all that matters. Indeed if pushed for a comparison the only one which even begins to come close is Sebadoh, and it only holds for the slow songs. It's the quality of Squirm's songs which is the second reason why they deserve attention. Of the five songs here the title track, with the way it walks the line between beauty and noise, is the stand-out. However, all five songs display just the right blend of big guitar, riffs, and strong melodies to make them classics.
Whip Me Honey is aimed as much for the international market as for local consumption. Still, word is there's an album not far away!". Andrew Hampton - Presto Magazine - October 1994

"1994 has been Squirm's year. People have really gotten into their twisted pop and they have had some big gigs. Now they have an EP and an album out through Failsafe Records and being distributed internationally by Australia's Shock Records. Mike -"As soon as we were doing something ourselves, people saw that we were motivated and into it and it just snowballed. We showed that we really believed in what we were doing and fuck everything else".
On Mastermistakemaker and Whip Me Honey - Virgil: "Mastermistakemaker is the whole concept of the attitude that Squirm has. Recording it like a document, you're basically saying that this is where the band's at on a creative and technical level. And if you go through and iron out all the mistakes you're not being honest about who you are. The album and EP cost around $800 - that's something I like about Squirm, we're cheap. We all have a down-to-earth attitude about how we do things. We didn't rush the recording. If you go into the studio and you know what you want and know how to get it, it's easy, just whack, whack, whack!" Whip Me Honey' is in the shops right now. Buy it, the music's twisted and best of all it's real. Excerpts from Squirm interview Sarah Nicol - Presto Magazine - October 1994

Lifestyles Of The Poor And Talented
Good songs is the focus of the Squirm sound - and there's plenty more where these have come from. The band spend most of their time jamming, playing, writing and recording ideas and even now have begun work on their next recorded outing. These guys aren't just your average "progressive art punk Glam rock band". They're into exploding the myths they feel the music industry is riddled with.

Squirm are part of the Noseflute Recording Collective, a collection of bands and individuals doing music in the pop mode, varying from accessible to experimental. The collective work together to get their music recorded in the face of lack of money and support from the established industry.
Squirm have however attracted the attention of the Failsafe label ever since their first few gigs and just missed out on being on the ground breaking Avalanche EPs Compilation of April 1993 due to space and time.
Failsafe's love of a great song and an original slant have seen the label releasing as much of Squirm's recorded work to date as possible. Everyone should have the opportunity to hear this music.
Gig-wise Squirm have stayed pretty independent and played mostly their own gigs although they have played some key gigs with Head Like A Hole and Loves Ugly Children.

Videos
With two Videos completed Squirm have applied their alternative approach to getting themselves recorded to getting some visual elements behind their songs. One A-side and the title track to the EP Whip Me Honey sees the band dressed suitable and acting Weird ...... Well maybe you just better see the video.
Also completed is a video for the LP track "Broken Planet".
Both videos were made by Campbell Taylor who is presently completing the distinguished Film and Television production course at Christchurch's Polytech. Campbell was in Virgil's first band All Fall Down and this connection musically has helped the band and director produce a video with the minimum of prompting. The videos just happened. Coming up is one more video for the LP track "Why Not Me".

SQUIRM RECORDINGS
"Whip Me Honey" EP  
Good Things" - Various Artists (song Voodoo)    

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Failsafe Records, P O Box 3003, Christchurch, New Zealand
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