By Michael Molenda Squier celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, and the affordable, youth-oriented line of Fenders is perhaps even edgier now than it was as a baby brat with something to prove. Depending on the model, Squiers now boast hot-rodded graphics (Holoflakes, sparkles, custom graphics, and rock-o-rific flames), “cross-training” endorsers (such as skateboard champs Jason Ellis and Mike Vallely), cagey signature models (Blink 182’s Tom Delonge), and affordable revamps of the DeArmond line (such as the M-77 and S-73). And Squier’s ballsy, punked-up, and rowdy demeanor really takes off in its crafted-in-China Showmaster series. These guitars are built to be abused. They’re tough, loud, and full of attitude—real, no-nonsense rock machines. They’re also a lot of fun. I smacked these hooligans around throughout a punk session for Mi5 Recordings, plugging them into various Marshalls, a Vox Valvetronix and a Brian May Special VBM 1, and a Hughes &Kettner Edition Blue 30-R. I also switched between the trio during a local “summer celebration” outdoor gig with a Tech 21 Trademark 60. And I even brought them into a singer/songwriter session to test their manners when plugged straight into the board.
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