THE RUDE AWAKENING – Squeal!

Tell me what you want…

When we reviewed The Rude Awakening’s debut album Kaleidoscope back in 2019 (see TEC review previously), it provided an opportunity to explore the electronic outfit’s themes. In particular, the boundaries of relationships through role-play and fantasy, but also the common bond and respect that partnerships bring.

Take the likes of ‘Your Wetness is My Weakness’ as an example, a 21st Century love song with strong sexual themes that seemed to reflect some of the sleazy synth territory that Soft Cell have managed to dominate in years past. At the same time, tracks such as ‘Butterflies’ offer a rare beauty in joyful musical musings.

These narratives are delivered by the combo of Johnny Normal and Bridget Gray, who make up The Rude Awakening, and are continuing to build on the foundations of Kaleidoscope going forward. Both also have a steeped individual history within the electronic music scene (and who are currently fielding some excellent interviews with iconic electronic artists on Artefaktor Radio).

Their first release of 2020 continues that exploration of the human condition, this time with a single that has a distinctly uptempo electropop sensibility to it. With the Covid crisis still trundling along, we certainly need all the upbeat music we can get.

‘Squeal!’ is a bouncy pop outing with a sturdy bass synth foundation to it. The vocal delivery offers up a back and forth dialogue, giving a male/female discussion of intimacy about what their partner desires (“Tell me all your darkest dreams and what they mean to you”).

As we noted previously, with earlier effort ‘Fuck Puppet’, the juxtaposition between Bridget’s gossamer vocals and Johnny’s more emphatic delivery lends The Rude Awakening’s material an intriguing spectrum of contrasts. ‘Squeal!’ continues in that tradition.

Meanwhile, the new release also comes with remixes care of Mr. Strange, Patrik Kambo, Jan Doyle Band, Eminent, Mechanical Cabaret and Subject:2.

The Patrik Kambo mix lends ‘Squeal!’ a more muscular club vibe and jumps out as possibly the best of the bunch. But there’s sterling efforts from Mr Strange, who weaves in more electronic elements into the chemistry, while the Jan Doyle Band mix gives the song a more stripped-down raw feel. The Mechanical Cabaret remix opts for a starker electronic/industrial makeover.


‘Squeal!’ is out 10th July on Pink Dolphin Music/AbNormal.

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Paul Browne
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