Squalls were cut from slightly different cloth than most Athens alt-rock bands of the time. With deep roots in folk music, they incorporated traditional country/bluegrass instruments such as fiddle and mandolin into their work. Most members were multi-instrumentalists and would often swap instruments during their shows.
They occupied a space slightly outside the core alt-rock scene. Their members were older and a bit more mellow than most student-led bands of the time. And their music was not easily classified, being a blend of rock, pop, and folk. A typical Squalls show would feature folkish ballads, hard rockers, and new-wave versions of bluegrass standards. Wide ranging and interesting, and very fun to see.
Squalls recorded four albums from 1981 to 1989, and their founder Bob Hay is still recording today. One of his current projects is called Noogeez, where he's retooling old Squalls songs and turning them into children's videos.
Here are two popular Squalls songs from the day:
Here's one from Bob Hay’s Noogeez project: