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
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!
'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.
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 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
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!
"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
'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
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
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
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
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
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
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