Album: Squirrel Bait EP
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I’ve often wondered what that kid was doing to that Walkman on the cover of Squirrel Bait’s 1985 debut EP. Was he eating it? Was he kissing it? Was he trying to play it like a harmonica? Apparently, that cover was designed by gadfly and future poker champ, Steve Albini, and I guess I could get on twitter and ask him, but, honestly, that would take all of the mystery away.
That mystery kind of extended itself to the music within. What was it, exactly? It was too melodic to be straight-up hardcore, but it was too heavy to be pop-punk, as there was definitely a metalish element in there, as well. That said, to my ears, Squirrel Bait was one of the earliest bands to pick up on what Hüsker Dü was putting down. I realize that’s not exactly the most original observation, but that doesn’t make it any less true, as kids across the country were doing their own variation on that sound.