The Soft Moon
The Soft Moon


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Kaster USER (24 Reviews)
January 13th, 2011 | 27 replies | 8,176 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is a monolith with a buzzing pulse...

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Lying alone in bed at night I often get an odd feeling of deja vu associated with remembrance of past lovers who use to sleep besides me, of old pillows now too flat and drool stained to use, and of layers of blankets that gradually peel away as the seasons get warmer and warmer. Comparable to how an amputee feels a phantom limb; a piece of myself is now gone yet it still has feeling and I can still sense its presence besides me. I just finished listening to “The Soft Moon” while in bed, and now I’m trying to recollect what I had just experienced; me put into the position of the amputee and this album acting as the severed limb. Even though I cannot connect the names to the songs, and even though I cannot recall any melodies in particular, I do recall the slow burning shades of emotions that run the gambit on this album. I’m left in a haze of clouded recollection, trying to sort out the paradox of how an album can permeate such a sort of cold warmth. Maybe it’s too early to tell, but excuse me as I make a candidate out of “The Soft Moon” for one of the best albums of the year.

“The Soft Moon” is a watershed of influences gathered from the tail end of underground music in the late 80’s. Post-punk ethics are to be found in the rhythm section while the other instruments explore the terrain of post-rock, all of which is guided by the shoegazer perspective of form and texture. The entire spectrum of “post-whateverness” is captured here, and surprisingly, all by the ambitions of sole member Louis Vasquez. It’s an impressive feat, considering the full and warm sound of the record and the sheer variety in instrumental styles and vocals. Lyrics are essentially unimportant, for the vocals are ghostly, distorted whispers spoken softly through a desk fan in the middle of an abandoned factory. Instead, the responsibility of story telling is placed solely on the instruments; each sounding tragic and tortured and each having some sense of personality about them.

Album opener “Breathe the Fire” leads one to assume that this will be a rather standard affair; another tribute to the desolate sounds of Joy Division reinterpreted and ready to be deemed “groundbreaking” by the less informed listener. However, introductions can often be misleading as “Circles” takes us to a different realm entirely. Disturbed darkness ala’ The Residents is pushed forward by a krautrock chug and mutilated by metallic washes of guitar noise. Before the album’s heart can freeze entirely from the coldness of these songs we’re given the romantic duo of “When It’s Over” and ‘Dead Love”. From the sweet and sincere vocals and reverberated arpeggios of the former (bringing to mind the beautiful work of Sigur Rós), to the shoegazer mayday siren cries of the latter, the album enters a wonderful shift in mood in effort to escape monotony. Similar attempts are equally successful, such as in the harsher sounding buzz of “We are We” and the Can-esc “Sewer Sickness”. Breaking up impressions in this manner only go to benefit this album mostly shrouded in vagueness.

The crux to the weakness of this album though is how the songs placed between the obvious “choice picks” are lost to forgetfulness so easily. Vasquez doesn’t worry himself too much with crafting melodies that leave a lasting impression, but instead, simply pleasant melodies that help to elevate the moods and texture of his songs. It’s not necessarily a bad technique as it is one that will need much refining in the future if he hopes to pen a classic that I’m certain he is capable of. Despite all of the nostalgic leanings, I’m impressed the most by how the band captures the essence of the production that made bands such as Joy Divison and The Bauhaus so memorable without sounding dated. Most people are so very fond of nostalgia, especially when it returns to us with the joyous sense of being a new experience; me included.

As I finish up this review in hopes that attention will be brought to this new debut release, I turn off the lights and prepare myself to experience “The Soft Moon” once again; an album that takes you on a lonesome New York City subway ride in the dew laden hours of the morning. This is a monolith with a buzzing pulse, and I plan to join it in this state of paradox in just a few moments of futile attempts to keep my eyes open.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SloppyMilkshake
January 13th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If anyone is interested, here's a stream of some of the album:

http://obscuresound.com/2010/11/the-soft-moon/

I discovered this new release through talking with one of my Canadian buddies, and it truly is one of the best new things I've heard in a while. I hope this review is good enough to garner it some recognition. If you enjoy what you hear, please give your feedback. I'd really like to support this act.

Foxhound
January 13th 2011



4570 Comments


Laying alone in bed at night I often get an odd feeling of deja vu associated with remembrance of past lovers who use to lay besides me, of old pillows now too flat and drool stained to use, and of layers of blankets that gradually peel away as the seasons get warmer and warmer.

kanecooper
January 13th 2011



630 Comments


the standard of reviewing has increased tenfold on this site over the last year or so i'm sure of it; good review

was just about to check this out

kanecooper
January 13th 2011



630 Comments


okay this is about a 3.8 for me so could easily go up to a 4 on further listens, i really really dig this kind of joy division hidden in reverb sound they're going for

kanecooper
January 13th 2011



630 Comments


also sewer sickness is a fucking jam

Jethro42
January 13th 2011



12028 Comments


I really like your writing style. Like I often do, I did read both in English and French and Google translater converted it to French very nicely, proving the quality of your pen. Keep the good work up.

BallsToTheWall
January 13th 2011



44164 Comments


Yeah this sounds pretty cool so far.

SloppyMilkshake
January 13th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for all of the nice comments. Just woke up and realized I made some awful errors in the first few sentences (my use of "laying" to be exact), so I cleared that up and removed the repeated forms of the word so that it doesn't sound so redundant.

Anyways, I really hope more people are turned onto this band.

MAYBE MAKE THIS A FEATURED ARTICLE?!?

Okay, I'm just busting balls now :P. I can't be making the kinds of typos I do if I want that xD

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2011



15690 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

review and kane got me into this band, stoked

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

SloppyMilkshake
January 13th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As lame as this sound, that means a lot coming from a staffer xD. If you can't tell, I'm trying to aspire to joining the ranks of contributing/staff writers here. So, thanks for the comment.

kanecooper
January 14th 2011



630 Comments


circles is the best

cbmartinez
January 16th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the two tracks i have from this "Breathing Fire"and "Tiny Spiders" are fucking incredible, I cannot wait to hear this

SloppyMilkshake
January 16th 2011



981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's pretty awesome, man. Great headphones album to boot.

acorncheese
January 16th 2011



7115 Comments


Going to check this out.

Skimaskcheck
January 16th 2011



2360 Comments


really well written, sounds appealing too

acorncheese
January 16th 2011



7115 Comments


Was not for me.

MaskAtTheMasquerade
January 16th 2011



2784 Comments


found this to be pretty zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

kanecooper
January 16th 2011



630 Comments


boo you

shazwagon
January 22nd 2011



84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Excellent review of an excellent album!

shazwagon
January 22nd 2011



84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It keeps on getting better and better as it progresses.



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