Squeaky Feet

Quirky, upbeat jam band accidentally goes prog and doesn’t shy away from getting weird

I have a theory that all band names are bad,” says Squeaky Feet guitarist/vocalist Colin Shore. “Once you’ve heard a name enough, you kind of trick yourself into thinking it sounds cool. But I think Squeaky Feet is deceptive; it implies a dancey nature to our music, which we do have, but people are always caught off guard by how angular we are.”

Formed from Berklee graduates ingratiated in the jam band scene in Denver’s punter packed bars, Squeaky Feet are a band built on surprises. Even for themselves; they were never meant to be a prog band.

Prog, in the classic sense, wasn’t on our radar,” Shore admits. “But once we started playing together it just happened that we were clearly making prog music. A big thing for me was when I started getting into Zappa’s music. His arrangements were a big influence on how I started approaching writing music. One thing I love about this band is that we don’t have to think about limitations. I know that I can write the most insane nonsense and we can still come together to make sense of it.”

Their sound nestles in a bustling bar of its own making, where Frank Zappa is the barman, Snarky Puppy are hanging out in one corner and King Crimson are necking shots in another. Finding balance amidst that chaos has been crucial in them establishing a fluid sound, especially when their songs were honed on stage.

As I write, I try to think about my own music tastes,” says Shore. “For every Zappa song that I love, there are two that I can’t stand, so I always try to figure out where the line is. I want prog fans to enjoy us, but I don’t want other people to find it too far off the deep end.”

Drummer Kevin D’Angelo, meanwhile, represents the care-free side of their coin: “We’re a band that will play 15/4 in a bar; we’re relentlessly here to do our thing,” he smiles. “We’re not going to bend our sound just to get the listens. We’re okay if you hate us. We’re going to play those weird songs and play complicated segments because it’s cool.”

That cheekiness presides over debut album, //Cause For Alarm//. //Chance To Grow//, a song that feels like it’s going to be a three-minute pop tune but instead stretches into a nine-minute psych rock epic typifies that. Even getting Snarky Puppy guitarist Mark Lettiei to guest on the album came from a cheeky ‘what if?’ moment.

He was a big inspiration for that song, so we messaged him,” Shore reflects. “He was super approachable and proud to be part of it. We’re super grateful; he knocked his solo out of the park.”

Having set the scene, they’re looking to “strike while the iron is hot”, with album two already being written. They’re eager to further explore the weirdness that their jams conjure as they start to shape a bright and boisterous future for themselves. PWE

PROG FILE

LINE-UP: Colin Shore (guitar, vocals), Greg King (guitar), Jimmy Finnegan (bass, vocals), Brian Keller (keyboards, sax, flute, vocals), Kevin D’Angelo (drums)

SOUNDS LIKE: A white wine tipsy King Crimson crashing a Snarky Puppy house party and spiking the punch with trippy psych rock ‘shrooms

CURRENT RELEASE: //Cause for Alarm// is out now and is self-released.

WEBSITE: https://www.squeakyfeetmusic.com/

Phil Weller

From "Limelight - Squeaky Feet" Prog Reprinted with permission.

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