Taylor still angry, cynical on 'Squint'

The Free Lance-Star
December 21, 1993
© 1993 The Free Lance-Star
Page D8

Philip Tatler

★ ★ ★ ½ stars out of ★ ★ ★ ★

If you're looking for music that is a pure alternative to the mainstream, check out alternative mainstay Steve Taylor's latest effort, "Squint." This is the first solo effort from the artist since he broke up with his last band, Chegal Gueverra [sic], and is some of his freshest work. While Steve Taylor is not a household name, his lack of fame does not mean a lack of talent.

On "Squint," Taylor approaches new musical territory with the same eagerness he always has. Grunge is Taylor's favorite new toy, and he works with it well on the cuts "The Lament of ...," "The Moshing Floor" and "Curses," as well as adding a grungy riff to his ridiculous rock opera, "Cash Cow."

On "Easy Listening" and "Sock Heaven," he experiments with reggae and techno, much in the same way he first experimented with rap in the early '80s. Taylor sticks to basic alternative rock with a few other cuts, most notably "Smug." Taylor also delivers an interesting ballad with "Jesus Is For Losers," a song about Taylor's struggle with religion.

Taylor has always been known for his angry, cynical lyrics, and on "Squint," the man who once sang "There's nothing in this world a few plastic explosives won't cure" delivers some great lyrics. Taylor is still the cynic, and his victims this time around are the politically correct, the hypocritical and religious fundamentalists; basically the same old targets he's always fired upon with his tongue-in-cheek genius.

All in all, "Squint" is classic Taylor: a merge of new wave/alternative music and brilliantly cynical lyrics. However, Taylor does create a few songs that do not work too well. I found "Bannerman," "Sock Heaven" and "Cash Cow" underwhelming in comparison with the album's other, tighter songs.

"Squint" is a great album, for the most part.