Saturday, June 3, 2023

What is This - Squeezed ep (1984, San Andreas)

Forever a footnote to history, L.A.'s What is This are generally known for being the band the late Hillel Slovak retreated to in the mid-80s when he decided to take a break from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (whom he'd rejoin in time for their 1985 LP, Freaky Styley).  Though WiT's modus operand wasn't funk rock/punk, the Squeezed ep coincidentally manages to commence with the decidedly groove-laden and feedback squall-ish "I Am a House."  In a nutshell, The Peppers, or even Gang of Four, What is This were clearly not, but even from the get go they exuded some smarter ideas on post-wavy salvos like "My Mind Still Have I," and Squeezed's finest moment, the Roxy Music endowed "Days of Reflection," which I damn near love.  Their subsequent self-titled album, arriving in 1985, was produced by Todd Rundgren, who strikes me as a logical choice based on what I'm occasionally able to glean from this ep.  

01. I Am a House
02. My Mind Still Have I
03. Squeezed
04. My Head is a Drum
05. Days of Reflection


Christian said...

Hello, could you post this EP of Laughing House – Democracy 1987, please?

herschel said...

My memory of the What-Is-This/RHCP Hillel story wasn't that he was on a break from the Peppers... The way I recall it is that the two bands shared most of their members (with the exception of their two frontmen, Alain Johannes and Anthony Keidis) until What Is This got signed -- Flea was in What Is This (then called Anthym) originally, and Hillel and Jack Irons were also in both bands at the same time. When labels came sniffing around What Is This, Hillel and Jack both decided to stick with the then-more-promising band, which is why Cliff Martinez and Jack Sherman got hired at the last minute to substitute for them on the RHCP's debut. After the relative failure of What Is This's follow-up EP, Hillel and Jack both rejoined the Peppers (although Hillel came back a little earlier).

herschel said...

(LP. i meant follow-up LP. the self-titled, Todd Rundgren-produced "What Is This" LP.)

DiggityDawg said...

Any chance of getting their LP uploaded. Thanks for this one!

spavid said...

Hey herschel. If I got some of the narrative wrong that's probably because I'm not at well-versed on RHCP at all, and perhaps I misinterpreted the write-up I saw on Wikipedia. I shared this record for it's own merits I suppose. I think I did read about the other early members of RHCP joining Hillel. Thanks for the info.