There are plenty of struggling bands striving for attention on the independent scene, so when a producer like Ed Stasium gets involved with one of them, there’s usually a good reason for it. Indeed, the man famed for producing bands like the Ramones, the Smithereens and Soul Asylum clearly still has a sharp eye for talent if Louisiana-based four-piece Squint is anything to go by.
Tinsel Life, the follow up to the band’s debut Beeker, was recorded with Stasium in California and the result is a consistently good album thick with chunky guitars and laced with subtle hooks and melodies.
Vocalist Dane Adrian has one of those wonderful, measured-yet-frantic voices that perfectly complements Matt Fredrickson’s guitar work and together with a tight rhythm section and well-crafted songs, Squint make for an intriguing listen.
Material like opener “Anthem for Closure” and the excellent “Unfinished” convincingly evokes the anthemic fuzz of alternative-rock bands like Better Than Ezra. With repeated listens, the slow-burning melodies gloriously come to the fore, as “Shadow, Shadow” and “Postergirl” prove. Multiple spins of Tinsel Life are made even more likeable because of Stasium’s impeccable production, which polishes the songs with the kind of sonic luster only a producer of his caliber can create.
Considering Squint’s resume already boasts shows with the Goo Goo Dolls and Stroke 9, it would certainly not be a surprise if the band was to move on to bigger and better things, and with Stasium’s assistance on Tinsel Life, they have certainly laid the foundations.