As I've mentioned before, I attended The University of Florida for my collegiate career during the mid-nineties, and during that time I was exposed to so many amazing bands. One of my favorite bands during my stay there was For Squirrels.
For Squirrels formed in Gainesville, FL, in early 1993. The original lineup featured Jack Vigliatura IV on vocals, guitarist Travis Tooke, drummer Jay Russell and bassist Bill White (with Jack Griego eventually replacing Russell). They played their first show as a band in August 1993 and later, recorded a CD in I think six days for approximately $6,000. That album was Baypath Road and it was released in early 1994.
Later, For Squirrels signed to Sony 550 Music in January of '95 and released the "formal" LP, Example. On the rise, and finally making a name outside of the southern east coast, tragedy struck. On the afternoon of September 8, 1995, the band and their tour manager were traveling I-95 south, returning home from the previous night's performance at C.B.G.B. in New York, when a tire blew out and the vehicle overturned.
Singer Jack Vigliatura (21), bassist Bill White (23), and tour manager Tim Bender (23) all died that day while Drummer Jack Griego (28) and Travis Tooke (23) suffered multiple injuries. It was a hard time in G'ville and I would assume a hard time for anyone who knew of the band. It was a shame to loose so much talent so soon and I can only imagine what could have been.
All that being said, Baypath Road is a hell of a debut and quite possibly, in my opinion, a superior album to their second release, Example. You get a better sense to all those early R.E.M. references and get an album that personifies pure college rock. At many points raw and not as polished as Example, and the sound quality is in no comparison, but songs like Kill the Birds, Flagboy, and Plymouth are standouts that provide a real look into the passion of For Squirrels and the talent that was ripped away from us. A band that is sorely missed and a band that hopefully you will revisit.
Unfortunately, Baypath Road has been long out of print, with numerous talks about a remastered version being produced, but as far as I know nothing is slated as of yet. I was able to obtain a copy while in school and it has been a treasured possession. Below are mp3 versions of the album and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
.: Go on Up
.: Kill the Birds
.: Red Robin
.: Nathaniel's Song
.: Left Behind