San Francisco post-metal, sludge scientists, GIANT SQUID, have been cultivating a resilient, and steadily growing cult following for nearly a decade now. Their lengthy, critically acclaimed career, was rather tumultuous in its beginning. Due to this, the band has always been moving forward, both in sound and spirit, focusing little on the past. This has resulted in some previously self released material, now long out of print and next to impossible to find, to be left behind in the clouded and confusing history of the band’s earliest days in Sacramento, CA, before the addition of full time member, and renown cellist, Jackie Perez Gratz. For years though, loyal fans have asked where to acquire these elusive releases, and, thanks to incredible label support from Philadelphia based Translation Loss Records, the band is finally in a place where they can meet those demands.
Through arrangement with Translation Loss Records, Giant Squid will see the official release of all previously self released material, with releases slated through the end of 2014, giving each title the full royal treatment, packaged exquisitely, and loaded with never before scene or heard bonus material.
The first of these Translation Loss releases will be an ultimate CD/DVD edition of Giant Squid’s 2005, long lost EP - Monster in the Creek. The original release was limited to only 400 CD-Rs, with home made, hand numbered packaging. This new edition will contain never before heard pre-production demos featuring Giant Squid’s explosive first drummer, Dave Reynolds, as well as many live recordings from the earliest days of this material. The included DVD will include never seen before studio footage from the recording of the album, interviews with members of the band, and loads of live footage from this era. The album’s title, Monster in the Creek, comes from the first track of the same name, about the historic shark attacks in Matawan Creek, NJ, in 1916.
The release of this album comes at a great timing, as the original keyboardist and third vocalist from the Monster in the Creek era, Andrew Southard, has returned to the ranks of Giant Squid, and is deeply entrenched in the writing of the band’s yet to be announced next release. Southard, is a musical virtuoso, who has built up a following as a Sacramento based solo artist, under the name, Young Aundee. His latest album, Fear in the Fold, officially dropped this month on Itunes, and is truly a masterwork of vocally driven, electronic music.
Monster in the Creek marks the strange era between the band’s two different versions of their landmark, world debut album, Metridium Fields. Following the original self release of that album, Andy Southard joined the band on keys, relieving original member Aurielle Zeitler of the position, allowing her to take to full time guitar duties. This massive shift in dynamics had very interesting results, producing the most indie-rock like, keyboard driven material of the band’s career. To be clear, while down-tuned, fuzzed out guitar riffs abound - other than the presence of an early version of fan favorite song, “Throwing a Donner Party”, later revisited on The Ichthyologist - there is very little that could qualify as “metal” on this release. Still, Giant Squid’s highly emotive, epic song writing is present in spades, rich with sheer walls of melodic interplay, and massive vocal performances by all three of the band’s singers at that time. The band’s love and inspiration from indie-artists such as Black Heart Procession, Pleasure Forever, Unwound, and Gillian Welch, has never been more apparent than on this release.
The album, engineered and produced by Eric Broyhill (Chk, Chk, Chk, Far), was recorded mostly live, and entirely analog to 16 track, 2” tape, strictly using analog outboard gear for all effects and sonic manipulations, and then mixed completely analog to half inch tape, before being mastered digitally by Broyhill. The rich, organic sound that resulted from this process, will lend itself well to a vinyl release, slated for 2014.