The Soft Moon
Criminal


3.0
good

Review

by former sputnik's home post-punk maester USER (90 Reviews)
February 2nd, 2018 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Hard Sun.

When the Soft Moon first came into the world (the project, not the guy), it was barely anything outstanding. Sure, by no means a bad effort, but not exactly something to reinvigorate people’s trust in darkwave revivalism. And to say that Luis Vasquez’s musicianship has changed or become a gold standard of quality will also be somewhat foolish. But what it can be commended for is that it stayed true to itself, releasing solid projects one after another with maybe only the most recent one, Deeper, delving into even more industrial and electronic depths. That gave me hope that maybe we will eventually see some level of evolution and self-reinvention. So I am happy to report that Criminal really isn’t a rehash of the same old story, but I am also sad to admit that it is a change for the unpleasant.

For one, Luis added a little more range to his vocals, which he only did every so often before. And together with the renewed and more danceable sound, they sound more frantic and distressed. Also, talking about the sound, it is miles denser and harshly technical than before. At times it even reminds more of an IDM record than a post-punk one.

And here we come to the biggest problem of the record. See, it’s not that it is directionless (it does hold up the dissonant insanity of a style it chose for itself fairly well), it is that the strange, morphed beatdown electro-punk route it takes just too often seems rather off-putting. The once prevalent darkwave roots still do shine through the magma of beats and harshness, but the said harshness still does prevail.

On paper, Criminal is a perfectly okay album with a little more jarring edge to it than one would expect or desire. But upon listening to it and revisiting it, it evokes less and less enthusiasm with each new track and each new spin. The fundamentally unpleasant production and the inherently dismal atmosphere could be technically defined as a typical trait of a proper post-punk record. But even the most brooding post-punk act has a sense of melody and hidden beauty to it. Criminal has shrilling instrumentation and forgettable tunes. It is no longer a “Soft Moon”, now it is the exact opposite, a bloody piercing sun.



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The Soft Moon

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
February 2nd 2018


12174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Unfortunately.

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Dewinged
February 2nd 2018


8348 Comments


"It is no longer a “Soft Moon”, now it is the exact opposite, a bloody piercing sun."

Fucking A.

Album's alright, but just that.

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ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
February 2nd 2018


11098 Comments


"ever so often before" - *every

Sweet rev as usual Unique

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Papa Universe
February 2nd 2018


12174 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Will I get to a 100th review before butcherboy?

SandwichBubble
February 2nd 2018


5489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Almost certain we're gonna agree on this one Universe.

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DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2018


17740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The sort of industrial-strength (geddit) post apocalyptic cheese that Trent Reznor is terrified of producing in 2018...but maybe he should stop being such a big girl's blouse and release something as visceral as this?



Bad news: the instrumental sections are nearly always better than the vocal segments, and the instrumental itself is the best track.

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DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2018


17740 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This also seems way more industrial rock than post-punk

JesusCage
February 7th 2018


227 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[This also seems way more industrial rock than post-punk] x2





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literallyzach
February 10th 2018


474 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I thought Deeper was pretty interesting so im checking this now

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Cifirni
February 21st 2018


9 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ll call it great cause it’s pretty rough. Little too edgy for me to really enjoy fully but maybe if I clear my mind I can let go of my bias a bit.

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