On Record: Charcoal Squids, by Charcoal Squids 

Missoula is one of those lucky places where, often enough, talented musicians move in from somewhere else as an essentially ready-to-go band, put down roots and blow everybody's minds. It's a satisfying phenomenon in that you don't have to endure earlier, looser versions of the band to get to the payoff. It happened with Honky Sausage in the early 1990s, Volumen in the late '90s, Shahs in the middle 2000s, and I'll be damned if Charcoal Squids isn't part of a new wave of transplanted talent.

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Charcoal Squids has been a band for about three years and recently moved to Missoula from Moscow, Idaho. The band plays heavy, mid-tempo, psychedelic rock with big builds and crashing, spacey jams. Certain elements evoke an updated 13th Floor Elevators or Chocolate Watchband. Even a couple of yips in the style of Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer give the sense that the Charcoal Squids aren't looking just to oldies for inspiration.

The Charcoal Squids' eponymous new record stands out on the strength of the singing, which is confident without being cocky. I really like the fuzzy lead guitar that snakes through these tunes, and the weight of the track "Tiger Tooth," which has a nice menacing riff and a good swing to it. It's a record that will stand up for years to come.

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