A Life Within A Day
The legends that are Steve Hackett, formerly guitar player for Genesis, and Chris Squire, bass player for Yes have put together Squackett (I’ll leave you to work out where they got the awful name from).
Hackett had his moments with the Charterhouse gang. Despite most fans debating over the Gabriel days, I much prefer the two “sister” recordings of “A Trick of the Tail” and “Wind and Wuthering.” Both of these albums, to these ears anyway, represent the pinnacle of the Genesis collection, before they turned into the Phil Collins soul patrol.
Squire was very much a leader of Yes. There are some parts of their catalogue I adore, like “Going for the One” and “Relayer,” but Yes never really touched me as a musical entity. I always found their style cold and unapproachable. They never seemed to strike a balance between their obvious brilliance as players with any kind of song writing skill. Harsh perhaps, but just an opinion.
With Squackett, there’s an attempt to fuse the two together somehow, and add flourishes that wouldn’t normally be associated with either one of them.
The opening track, also the title song, is possibly what you’d expect. It’s brutal, Zeppelin-style plod, progresses into a stunning instrumental section that not only feature a superb Hackett solo, but also some wonderful drumming from Jeremy Stacey. There’s more than touch of Saga about this song, and that’s undoubtedly it’s strength.
After that though, the album just doesn’t go anywhere. Even though it has a few small highlights, like “Stormchaser” and “Perfect Love Song”, there’s little imagination on show here and precious little energy. For the best example of where the album goes completely tits-up, listen to the ponced-up, low-rent Steely Dan lift “Can’t Stop The Rain” and you’ll get my meaning.
“Squackett” is an atypical mish-mash of indulgence by two superb and proven musicians who have simply run out of steam and ideas.