Helicopter Helicopter – Squids And Other Fishes (1998)

Helicopter Helicopter
Squids And Other Fishes

“What are you doing later tonight?  Well I don’t know, I guess maybe drugs and gay porno…”

Squids And Other Fishes was the debut full length from Helicopter Helicopter.   It was the darkest and most raw record the band made.  There were images of things you don’t really want to know about.  These were songs about the night.  This was like a musical adaptation of Taxi Driver.

“Split my lip on a bottle of Jack.  I swear to God I never felt so good…”

There was noise and space. Both were equally brutal when wielded by Helicopter Helicopter.  Squids And Other Fishes was off kilter indie rock – evil off kilter indie rock.  The sparse arrangement of “Great Big Meaningless” added to the dirge-like feel.  “Please Please Tito” and “Gay Porno” went for the jugular.  To this day, “Lucky” is one of my favorite songs ever to come out of Boston.

“What if you knew?”

Chris Zerby and Julie Chadwick shared song writing and vocal duties in the band.  The boy/girl dynamic contrasted well with the subject matter.  Both seemed to enjoy the role of pied piper, luring the listener into their twisted world.

“I’m the only one who can stand you!”

The band did hint at the catchy indie rock that would dominate some of their later releases.  Choruses got stuck in your head (until the next one came along to dislodge it), but the pop sensibilities never overpowered the dark imagery.  In the end Squids And Other Fishes was about life in the gutter.

“We’ll smoke crack at the end of the world…”

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