Emerging from Brooklyn’s post-punk scene, Two-Man Giant Squid began as Mitch Vinokur’s solo venture and transformed into a band notorious for their tumultuous live gigs. They’ve rocked venues all over the city, from Bushwick’s Our Wicked Lady to Williamsburg’s Baby’s All Right to Manhattan’s renowned Mercury Lounge…and even guerrilla performances atop Brooklyn buildings. Each show witnesses their evolution – sharper, darker, wittier. They’ve already graced the stage alongside names like Dead Tooth and recently inked a deal with Mint 400 Records, prepping for the launch of their album, Intro To Basement.
Their sound? A kaleidoscopic blend reminiscent of MGMT, Modest Mouse, Parquet Courts, and Pulp – a mix of early 2000s indie and gleams of 90s Britpop. “The ethic of our scene is both sink-or-swim and nourishing at the same time,” says Vinokur. “We were trying to write songs that we knew could explode a basement party the same way they could set Mercury Lounge into mayhem.”
Intro To Basement pays homage to the band’s DIY roots, reflecting their (now ubiquitous) path in the city’s underground music scene. Swinging from frenetic dance-punk tempests to poignant indie rock crescendos, “Intro To Basement” captures the renaissance of New York’s underground ethos—distilled and ready to be pocketed, just as it should be. Their sardonic lyrical spins nudge listeners to question prevalent perceptions of progress…and warning against the seductive snares of charlatans and their hollow pledges of prosperity.
The album beckons you in with the mesmeric ‘The Opposite,’ where rhythmic motorik drums underpin chants reminiscent of Yacht, all adorned with sumptuous guitar strokes and playful, bubbling synths. ‘Junkie Talk’ struts in with an upbeat tempo, its basslines wickedly infectious, evoking images of Robert Hazard commandeering a spirited high school chorus. Then, like wandering into a Technicolor reverie, ‘Falling Little Ones‘ envelops you in its psychedelia, with the faintest touch of haunting synth waves. As the journey continues, ‘No End In Sight‘ thrusts us headfirst back to a rawer landscape, its guitars buzz with determination and the ambiance throbs with an intensity that Fugazi fans would nod to.
In the throes of ‘Progress,’ a fervent punk spirit materializes, laced with a heady blend of charm and cheeky insight. It playfully jabs at our steadfast beliefs about progress, hinting at the shadows cast by eloquent deceivers. ‘Cold Fingers‘ feels like a serendipitous dream state crystallized into sound, a daring plunge into the novel, desperately grasping at fleeting moments of joy before they’re lost in the ether. It hums with the warmth of a golden indie summer, yet bares its vulnerable, beating heart with unabashed honesty. ‘Love Is Exactly As It Seems‘ drifts into the whimsical aural corners reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s ‘Float On‘ days. By the time we reach ‘Dogs‘, the sound still carries Modest Mouse’s fingerprints, but there’s a volcanic surge, propelling us skyward from the chaotic dance of a mosh pit.
Intro To Basement is out now via Mint 400 Records.
Two-Man Giant Squid will be playing Baby’s All Right on the 31st of August. Pick up tickets here.
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