Song: The Thought That Kills
Squirrel made their mark on the 90s Toronto scene, playing around town and releasing several videos and recordings of all-original material. The quartet did some great two-guitar rock with a fine sense of of attack and a notably cerebral, literary approach to their writing. This one’s a bit of a departure from the band’s signature edgy sound; it’s a gently reflective tune, its lyrics penned by lead singer and guitarist Brad McInnis; the whole band shares the song-writing credits. A warm and relaxed acoustic melody draws us into a somewhat contrarian take on the legend of Icarus. Rather than lament the fact that Icarus flew too close to the sun out of some misguided reasoning or inflated pride, this clever inversion of a song opts instead to celebrate the inventors and visionaries among us. Here Icarus is a daring overachiever - whether his motivation can be characterized as driving ambition, relentless optimism or divine inspiration, the end result is the same - regardless of how many setbacks he encounters, he doesn’t give up his quest to fly. Although those of us familiar with the tale know that things end badly for Icarus, the message I take away from this song is one of courage and optimism, and the dogged persistence which stems from that outlook. McInnis sings this serenely zen-like alternative fable with a natural cadence that spurs the narrative onward with calm and measured grace. It’s a nuanced track with a light touch; sometimes the understated ones pack the most punch.
Posted by Max MacDonald