Sunday, 10 April 2011

MUSIC - The Soft Moon: "The Soft Moon" (2010)

It's been years since I felt so sentimental about music (and my life, since music has always been guiding me through the meanders of life) as after discovering The Soft Moon. Their debut album brought in so many nice recollections of my early youth. The band, like so many other groups nowadays, reaches back to the music of the 80's, but instead of playing (with) the catchy tunes of electro pop they made an attempt at recreating the spirit of the darker face of the decade. In their songs you can hear countless influences ranging from the sound of The Cure from the Faith/Pornography period via echoes of Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Cabaret Voltaire, The Danse Society to such forgotten names as X-mal Deutschland (to name but a few). This record makes a particularly tasteful hotchpotch of all of my beloved music styles: gothic rock, industrial, post industrial, post rock, neo folk, post punk, shoegaze, I would even risk adding tribal trance to this list, consciously arranged to bring back the dark atmosphere of the times some thirty years past. There's no weak moment on the record. The rhythmical, trance-like songs with whispered vocals gradually build up tension which is to culminate like in some pagan ritual in the fabulous final number "Tiny Spiders". Hey, that's nothing new - I can already hear some critical voices. Yes, I do agree, but I don't perceive this band as imitative at all. They consciously play with the convention while maintaining ironic distance towards their own music, for example their songs eg. "Breathe the Fire" and "When it's over" end clumsily with fading, the device which was once popular when disguising lack of concept and nowadays lays this lack of concept bare. Also the length or rather the quintessential shortness of the album alludes to the times when the amount of material was limited by technical constraints, namely vinyl size.  I definitely have a lot of fun listening to the album, involuntarily tapping my foot, it always makes me want to go wild and dance. Dark as it is, paradoxically "The Soft Moon" infuses me with a powerful dose of energy. Hope to hear more of you guys soon!!!

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