SASAMI: Squeeze (Domino) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 21st, 2024  




Feb 25, 2022 Issue #69 - 20th Anniversary Issue Bookmark and Share

Sasami Ashworth’s (performing as SASAMI) sophomore album, Squeeze, is a marked departure from the dream woven delivery of her 2019 self-titled debut. Squeeze is a study in alternating currents (the type that can kill you) that no doubt gets your attention, but can also make for a jarring experience. The opening pummel of “Skin a Rat” recalls the first track uncharacteristic ugliness of “Pig” from Sparklehorse’s Good Morning Spider, but unlike that album, Squeeze doesn’t settle into a bucolic groove thereafter.

The opening track abrasiveness of distorted vocals and buzzing guitars recurs via a revolving door of hook-filled power pop ballads interspersed with a much grittier dynamic. In full disclosure though, even the softer moments are delivered with more than a fair share of punch. A couple of standouts on the more melodic side, “Call Me Home” and “Tried to Understand,” share the modern day ache of HAIM at their catchiest, with heaping spoonfuls of additional guitars added to the mix. And the gripping closer, “Not a Love Song,” carries the ancient pull of an Appalachian folk song dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era.

On the blunter side, the industrial clangor of “Say It” is layered on to reach a density that Trent Reznor likely couldn’t have imagined in the ’90s, while “Need it to Work” would fit in well with the more provocative grievances of Cherry Glazerr, where Ashworth spent a brief stint. Squeeze tears you down and gives you a hug at the same time, which is no doubt disorienting, but certainly as Ashworth intended. For fans of Fleetwood Mac and Nine Inch Nails that have no qualms about listening to both at the same time. You probably know someone like that. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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