One Track Mind: The Squires of the Subterrain, "Idling in the Sun" (2012)

For the past two decades, the Squires of the Subterrain has been putting out some of the coolest sounds one could hope to experience.

Not a band, but an individual artist, who also frequently records under the name Christopher Earl, the Rochester, New York-based multi-tasking musician has often and deservedly been referred to as a modern day god of retro rock. No matter what vintage audio apparel he dons, he embodies the style with amazing instinct and accuracy.

Here on the Squires of the Subterrain’s latest effort, the single “Idling in the Sun” (Rocket Racket Records), he summons the friendly ghost of the early Beach Boys right down to the striped shirts, perfectly pressed trousers and grinning mugs. Piloted by a brisk and bouncy arrangement, compounded by yards of zippy hooks and cheerfully harmonious vocals, the merry little tune sounds so much like Brian, Carl, Mike, Al and Dennis that it produces goose pimples. A razor sharp break additionally creeps up in the the song, along with a rooting tooting saxophone solo from Mark Bradley. Oh, and we can’t forget the lyrics, which make you want to book the next flight to Southern California and hit the beaches.


Come spring, “Idling in the Sun” will appear on the Squires of the Subterrain’s new full-length album, Sandbox. If this great track is any indication of what the disc will offer, it’s no exaggeration to say it will be the best album of the year. And while I have your undivided attention, be sure to look into the Squires of the Subterrain’s prior creations if you haven’t done so already.

Aside from his fun surf rock escapes, he’s collaborated with Big Boy Pete and boasts a series of whimsically trippy psychedelic pop confections.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.