August 03, 1981 12:00 PM

Squeeze

If the names Tilbrook and Difford don’t roll off the tongue quite as trippingly as Lennon and McCartney, well, consider them roses by another name. For with this fourth U.S. release, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford prove their tunesmithing is sweet, and for diversity, charm and rhythmic agility it invites comparison to the early works of John and Paul. Onstage, Tilbrook plays the blond, adorable loverboy, his knees sagging toward each other the way Elvis Costello’s used to. Difford, a blocky figure in black clothes and slicked-down hair, stands pat behind the mike and strums with an economical wrist the way Costello does now The admiration, in fact, is real. Squeeze and Costello hopscotched the U.S. together last winter under the billing “The English Mugs Tour With Their Old China,” and EC co-produced East Side Story It is seldom recognized because of their New Wave sensibilities, but Tilbrook-Difford, like Costello, are prolific melodists whose disciplined styles join like the sides of an isosceles triangle built on a Beatles base. Get to know East Side Story cuts like Heaven, Someone Else s Bell, Tempted, Piccadilly or Is That Love and see if they don’t start sneaking through your brain when you least expect it.

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