The Squish: Still So Sweet

Jason Thompson

The Squish

Still So Sweet

Label: Snowglobe
US Release Date: 2002-04-22

"Rock for the Geeks" is how The Squish are presented on their website. Snowglobe Records proclaims that Still So Sweet is the "hotly anticipated release from The Squish". Groovy. I wish I knew who they were, so I could have anticipated this one with drool running down my chin as much as the next guy. So this is geek rock? Yes, apparently in the same vein of Weezer and The Rentals, although I would say more Weezer. Just because you have a Moog (much like a lot of indie popsters these days) doesn't mean you're necessarily in The Rentals category. But then again, I wonder why you'd want to be. Matt Sharp's band has had some good tunes and all, but nothing of the caliber that his former bandmate Rivers Cuomo has dished out.

On album, The Squish are Kristopher Rushton, playing just about everything. The bass work is handled by Skitch Anderson, and the drums on one track ("And the Afternoon") are done up by Dan Sia. However, on the website, The Squish now apparently feature Chris Pardy on bass, Dan Sia still on the drums, and Pam Leavitt on the Moog/JP-8000. I'm sure this probably makes little difference to most of you, but we might as well keep as up to date as possible.

How about that music, then? Well, I have to say that the song "You Once Said" is top contender for any sort of "single" on this disc. It's the tune that does the Weezer/Rentals thing the best with the kind of melancholy vocals Rivers Cuomo is known for combined with the cheesy Moog work The Rentals excelled at on their first album. And with such goofy lyrics as "Forward stream, what'd you mean? / How it seems, forward stream and I can't control", go ahead and give these kids that Geek Rock Badge of Quality.

Of course, that notion could only be furthered in the track entitled "Liv Tyler". And nowhere on the album does The Squish sound more like Weezer than right here. In fact, you might as well say that Kris Rushton ripped off everything on the blue album and turned it into his own thing here. The rhythm is "Buddy Holly" (so is the sentiment), the execution is "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here", and the yearning is a bit "Say It Ain't So" thrown in for good measure. You could undoubtedly throw this song on and fool all your Weezer-loving friends and convince them that it was some rare b-side.

Those two songs are the most blatantly ripped-off tunes on the disc. Not that that's bad at all. Both songs are a lot of fun to listen to and are the cream of the crop on Still So Sweet. The Squish actually hit an excellent original sound on the song "Stay Awhile" that manages to actually bust through the sweetness and rock it up quite well. Sounding desperate and frustrated, Kris Rushton pushes the tune to a tightly twisted climax that is more satisfying than his soundalike songs.

The sad "Rain Chaser" feels a lot like the Cure via Seventeen Seconds and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. The group then does its strictly Rentals turn on "And the Afternoon", complete with compressed-sounding drums and that silly Moog. It's actually scary to hear how well Rushton is at emulating his heroes. The Weezer-sounding tunes have all the freshness and energy that comes with that band's work, while "And the Afternoon" sounds cool, but is ultimately flat by the end of the song. Give the guy some major points for doing his homework.

There's also an intro and "The Ending" that work as the bookended pieces they're supposed to be, and another original sounding track, "Angel" that goes on a bit too long and isn't as good as "Stay Awhile". But I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Still So Sweet despite its lack of originality. Weezer fans will definitely find a whole lot to enjoy on this brief outing that's touted as an EP, but may just as well be regarded as a satisfying album as well. Even the slower parts have their good moments. Next time around I probably will be hotly anticipating this band's next release. Still So Sweet is pretty damn tasty.





Electrosoul's Flõstate Find "Home Ground" on Stunning Song (premiere)

Flõstate are an electrosoul duo comprised of producer MKSTN and singer-songwriter Avery Florence that create a mesmerizing downtempo number with "Home Ground".


Orchestra Baobab Celebrate 50 Years with Vinyl of '​Specialist in All Styles'

As Orchestra Baobab turn 50, their comeback album Specialist in All Styles gets a vinyl reissue.


Hot Chip Stay Up for 'Late Night Tales'

Hot Chip's contribution to the perennial compilation project Late Night Tales is a mixed bag, but its high points are consistent with the band's excellence.


Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.


The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.


Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.


For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?


Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".


Becky Warren Shares "Good Luck" and Discusses Music and Depression (premiere + interview)

Becky Warren finds slivers of humor while addressing depression for the third time in as many solo concept albums, but now the daring artist is turning the focus on herself in a fight against a frightful foe.


Fleet Foxes Take a Trip to the 'Shore'

On Shore, Fleet Foxes consist mostly of founding member Robin Pecknold. Recording with a band in the age of COVID-19 can be difficult. It was just time to make this record this way.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


'We're Not Here to Entertain' Is Not Here to Break the Cycle of Punk's Failures

Even as it irritates me, Kevin Mattson's We're Not Here to Entertain is worth reading because it has so much direct relevance to American punks operating today.


Uncensored 'Native Son' (1951) Is True to Richard Wright's Work

Compared to the two film versions of Native Son in more recent times, the 1951 version more acutely captures the race-driven existential dread at the heart of Richard Wright's masterwork.


3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".


'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.