Squarewave’s sophomore release, A Faint Glow, successfully builds on Dullhead creating a wash of electric guitar brilliance atop haunting songs. Released in 2007, A Faint Glow is available as a high quality, lossless download From Artisanal Records.
Pop Culture Press, Fall Winter 2007 .”Squarewave’s Jeff Jagielo once led a great underground band from Madison, Wisconsin called Ivory Library who made solemn and gorgeous rock music perfectly suited for the long Upper Midwestern winter. They released a couple of stellar records on tiny labels during the ’90s while flirting with bigger indies but never got to make the big jump and disbanded in the late ’90s. Last year, Jagielo and Pat Connaughty (who was in one of the later Ivory Library lineups) re-emerged as Squarewave and released Dullhead. With the addition of Brandon Smith as full-time drummer and a batch of excellent songs, A Faint Glow surpasses Dullhead, which is not to discount the quality of that record at all; this new one is just that good. Jagielo has always managed to work effectively in melancholy mid-tempo rock, which is dangerous territory for a lot of musicians. He sings in a hushed, fragile voice that is plaintive without being mopey, and even on the longer and more adventuresome songs, he still has a keen ability to find a good hook in the form of a chorus or guitar riff. Connaughty’s songs serve as the perfect counter-weight for Jagielo’s. They are equally as melodic and aching but different in approach as well as voice. And like the cover of Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” on Dullhead, this time they deliver another splendid version of another band’s song in their version of Love Spit Love’s “Half A Life.” Who knows how much Boat Records can push Squarewave, but there is a receptive audience out there waiting to welcome a record as good as A Faint Glow. – Andy Smith