Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Soft Moon: "Deeper"

I was so impressed by the first glimpse of this band that I had to hunt their label down.The album starts off with very industrial ambiance. The first single "Deeper" is pretty damn dark, it might remind you of "Pretty Hate Machine" era Nine Inch Nail, though these guys have put a glossy glaze of weirdness over that formula. the vocal arrangements tend to be more chanted and droning than anything Reznor does. They have a really good and dense synth sound that has the metallic edge of a guitar to it. The Faint is also a good reference point if you are talking "Danse Macabre" days. They are not too depressed to dance as evident on the more upbeat "Far". There is a more organic element to this one The vocal are breathtakingly produced. The effect that lay on them are perfect , that is not to say his melody is not pretty fucking as well.

Lyrical they sing about life being hard and killing them inside even when they are dancing. There 90's feeling you think you might get from this is smashed against the kinda of roughened up distortion that once haunted witch house. That drugged spectral sluggish feeling that "witch house" had floats out of a throbbing kraut rock star system on "Wasting" to give it the surreal feeling that shoes gaze often takes you away with. "Wrong" hits with more of an industrial feel, but the kids with the cyber dreads are missing out on this one.

The band is capable of creating a more organic sound on as shown on " Try", but to call it post-punk might be a stretch despite some Cure like undertones in the guitar sounds. They retain tension differently than post-punk bands do. It is more like the sensual marriage of shoe-gaze to new wave that someone like Death of Lovers does, but without delving to deep into the bat-cave, though this would not raise eyebrows if a dj worked it into a goth night soundtrack. If you asked the band if they are goth they would more than likely say no, but then Robert Smith says the same thing.

The oppressive industrial mood returns to "Desertion" . The breathy vocals glide over the robot shift of the bass line. A techno synth pattern weaves it's way into the song. It's an apocalyptic hypnosis droning you onto the dance floor. The hollow piano weeps onto cyber punk balladry of "Without" . This is easily something someone like Stabbing Westward or Vast might have dipped into in their hey day. The dramatic vocal build the song's emotional current more than the accompaniment. The electro-grooves they hit can't really be called dark wave. The bass line to "Feel" carries a riveting angular juxtaposition to the guitar shimmering around the vocal accents. The most unexpected and interesting beat on the album is the tribal flourishes on the title track.

The album closes on a weird note, with whispering and samples over a mesmerizing guitar riff that echoes out into a dreamscape of sound, this builds into something that takes a harsh noisy turn after the more industrial elements converge into something kinda heavy sonically not metal . Only the first three and a half minutes are the song the rest is the drawn out feedback of crickets in space. Fans of bands bands ranging from Cold Cave to Skinny Puppy can find something to move them on this album. I'll go and round this up to a 10 as I think some of the songs that departed from the darker beginnings of the album will grow on me and the last thing is more of an outro than a song. Overall it's a pretty incredible listen and one of the first real contenders for album of the year if it sticks with me for the rest of 2015.

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