V/A The Happy Squid Sampler EP reissue

The URINALS started Happy Squid to release their debut 7” in 1978, but this 1980 label sampler effectively foreshadowed some of the scattered directions that the members of the band would follow as they drifted further away from ramshackle punk into the ’80s, from their soon-to-be reinvention as tense post-punks 100 FLOWERS to the moody college rock of DANNY AND THE DOORKNOBS and TROTSKY ICEPICK. The EP leads with three tracks directly from the URINALS family tree, starting with a perfect half-minute of the parent group’s primitive bashing (“U”), followed by DANNY AND THE DOORKNOBS’ “Melody,” a dark, lo-fi punk jangler like the URINALS gone Paisley Underground, and then an organ-buzzing improv noise instrumental called “Get Down, Part 4” by ARROW BOOK CLUB (actually the URINALS incognito). For the remaining three tracks, things are turned over to a handful of URINALS peers from the L.A. underground—VIDIOTS (featuring Rik L Rik on vocals) offered “Laurie’s Lament,” a speedy, Dangerhouse-style burner that’s weirded-up midway with a PERE UBU-ish synth break, PHIL BEDEL’s “Caterpillar Stomp” is squelching, instrumental post-DEVO synthwave, and NEEF rounds things out with a lengthy (the EP’s entire B-side) neo-musique concrète jam. Punk to waaaaaay beyond punk in just six degrees.