It’s not every day bands are able to make nano-thermite reactions references work in their lyrics, but unpredictable and uncalled for are what Captain Squeegee specializes in.
Squeegee’s typically atypical single “Your Own Invention” draws the audience in with a range of very conflicting sounds, from 1920s style piano work to futuristic synths that err more on the extraterrestrial side, creating a righteous, and at the same time very wrong piece of work.
The band reflects the only good thing to come from Prohibition, merging Austen Mack’s keys with other old-world stylings, like Chris Hoskins’ sax, Danny Torgersen’s trumpet, Ryan Sims’ trombone and Mat Maloy’s drums. Although it sounds like they’d fit better marching on a football field, the brass works in the song, or at least the band makes it work. It’s a tall order trying to fit all seven members into a track. As is, the instrumentals are enough to move any alcohol-deprived flapper to do the Charleston. The band adds a modern twist by bringing in an electric undercurrent with Kory McCarthy (guitar) and Tyler Carlblom (bass).
Throughout the piece, McCarthy and Carlblom get lost in the mix, but they have their moments when they switch off with the ’20s revival, at the more up-to-date chorus. Each component, though uncommon in combination, melds together to generate an upbeat melody that’s hard to forget. If the septet sounds weren’t enough, the band tries to add yet another layer of contrast with lyrics that are, perhaps, too profound to be paired with such an enthusiastic backdrop.
As he sings, “Suddenly opening eyes see in surprise/That the truth’s been disguised/In a dream or a lie,” Torgersen searches for deeper meaning to the world, something the band attempts in almost every one of its songs. But set against energetic instrumentals, the song’s whole meaning of, “You choose what to realize …” flounders and recedes into the background.
Taking a look at the lyrics as a separate entity, they have a depth that is undermined when set to music. Torgersen sings of towers crumbling, “While the Illuminati/Keep their knowledge of the skies,” in an attempt to make the listeners question how much “enlightened” people keep from the general public.
Where the band gets it right is with the breakdowns in the chorus. The music fast-forwards a few centuries, dulling down the brass, and pumping the beautifully entwined piano, guitar and drum work. To underscore Torgersen’s ominously valid question, “How do you know if this is realistic?” futuristic synth sounds add a sci-fi element to compliment a psychedelic guitar riff.
Captain Squeegee sets a goal to urge its audience to see the world more clearly. They offer links to meditation articles and retropsychokinesis experiments, on the band’s website. What we’re ‘seeing more clearly,’ we don’t exactly know.