Squidhead“Squidheads, squidheads roly-poly squidheads. Sqidheads, squidheads, eat em up yum!” Well not quite as far as this calamari enthused one man project from Belgium is concerned as it is purely instrumental but if you made up your own words and sang along it would no doubt be equally as bizarre. Pierre “Pish” Minet the guy behind this five track EP obviously has a lot of ideas and despite lack of vocals these tracks do not flounder in the water in the slightest as there is so much going on here and we cross genres with rapid and fluid movement coming from all angles.

Opener ‘Riding The Octopus’ is quick to wave its tentacles wildly all over the place with fast guitar work and a hefty ballast from the drumming before sparkling keys swim in and the chunky, head-banging ballast of it all has you air guitaring manically away trying to keep up. It’s very prog laden with a djenty flexing of mussels (sorry) and it does not stand still for a second. There’s no time for lack of vocals to get you feeling bored, although obviously the thought is always there making you wonder what they would add to the overall picture. Think a bit of Cynic at their fastest perhaps, the exuberance of Dutch instru(mental)ists Kong, the sporadic and potty of flair of Devin Townsend and Steve Vai at their most obtuse in a metallic whiplashing battle and you could have a vague idea of what this and numbers such as ‘Edge Of Consciousness’ are like. Luckily it does things without becoming a convoluted exercise in “look what I can do” guitar wankery. Sure the guy can play and that’s evident but this keeps things honed in well and is tight without trying to be too clever. With the solid rigorous thumping drums driving through things it is not all about the guitar playing either as the music moves fast enough to give the listener an energetic rush.

There’s a touch of gloom about the title track which slows things at start and leaves with a dry taste in the mouth before crunching away with optic shattering snare work and a bouncy, jump around stomp that really gets its groove in. It makes me want to pogo and spill my cider all over the place but as it’s called ‘Prohibition’ I may have s light problem doing so; hell where there’s a will there’s a way though. ‘Coded Dreams’ meanders through the ocean waves adding a floating sense of tranquillity before last number ‘The Ritual’ picks up the pace again and Cthulhu rears up and bites its worshippers in a madcap dash to the finish line.

I found myself quickly enjoying this and reckon there is scope to expand things to a full length album although personally I found Prohibition just the right length for comfort and guess as it seems to be a first release it’s a case of testing the way. Check it out for yourself at the link below and if you fancy purchasing I’m sure Pierre will be happy to raise a glass to you, even if it is only salty water!

(7/10 Pete Woods)