Soft Kill
Savior


2.5
average


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Killing us softly…

Soft Kill have been creeping around for a little while now with one effort after another trying to capitalise on their unique approach to completely redundant and overplayed influences every fresh-off-a-high-school post-punk band today does, even more synthetic New Order and even less energetic Joy Division. You know, the first thing that comes to mind. But Soft Kill seemed, if not original among the bland pile, at least mildly intriguing. Not that their song-writing and instrumental chops were anything much to praise, but somehow the overall execution of albums such as Heresy or Choke did manage to leave an impression of a certain quality the band is yet to fully learn to grab. Choke was overly industrial and musically non-distinct from anything else in the stylistic horde, but at least had a few catchy moments, while Heresy went all in on the emotional dissonance, which ultimately served them well. But Savior finds the band struggle to climb out of the musical hole they dug themselves in with the blatant influences and for the most part just seems like a reach into every direction previously explored on their other work.

It all kicks off promisingly enough; “Swaddle” is an energetic, kicking tune with explosive instrumentation and atmospheric production, but its arrangement quality got quickly overshadowed by the poorly mixed vocals that just take away from any and all excitement the song could have possibly evoked. But at least it had its energy to carry it, right after that the album as if gets dropped into the pit of redundancy, where one song after another sounds exactly the same.

In talking about this band I often have kept coming back (and probably will) to likening them to New Order and Joy Division, and often that comparison seemed as primitive as the band’s worship of those artists. Savior might be their first album, where this likeness is the only clear and distinct characteristic. Long gone are the days of Choke’s more electronic messiness or even more so Heresy’s guitar-wielding urgency and sonic contempt. Savior is just a recycled cliché that might try to implement more of that natural instrumental composition like on Heresy and still come off a little more subtle and free—flowing like on Choke, but in the end they come off as clueless and banal as any novice.



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user ratings (16)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
May 15th 2018


17720 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

was supposed to have come out eons ago, but them bans kept me from getting to it

Digging: Ex-Isles - Luxury Mass

Dewinged
May 15th 2018


11319 Comments


Tis' good to read you again old man. Good review. Savipos?

Digging: Ancestors - Suspended in Reflections

Papa Universe
May 16th 2018


17720 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ay, ya darling lad, aye?

Pajolero
May 16th 2018


1018 Comments


Damn, sorry to hear you didn't like this that much Pops. I'm a big fan of Heresy, so I'll def give this a listen.

Digging: Candy (VA) - Good To Feel

quetzal
May 16th 2018


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Choke is a 10 / 10 masterpiece, this album is a step down but still fantastic. These guys are, with Drab Majesty, by far the best 80s worship of all time outside of stuff actually released in the 80s.

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2018


2553 Comments


this album kicks ass ur opinion's wrong old man go back to the geriatric ward

Wizard
June 6th 2018


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well written review! However I really think you haven’t let this album/ band sink in. I find this type of music (post punk or whatever) needs to be given time and circumstances. By circumstances, I mean you can’t just expect to feel the vibe on a hot sunny day.



A few other things, the vocals are purposefully mixed low. Listen to Joy Division and New Order again and tell me the vocals don’t take a back seat. I don’t really think these guys mimic their influences so much as add their own spin to them. I’ve listened to stuff like this since I was a child and I find Soft Kill to be more then the sum of their parts. Just an opinion, cheers!

Pajolero
June 7th 2018


1018 Comments


They'll be playing shows here with Lebanon Hanover this fall and I can't fucking wait. Here's hoping I can get Graves to sign my copy of Heresy.

Wizard
June 14th 2018


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Because ive been playing non-stop the past three weeks, I had to come back to this review and just say I don’t think you have any understanding of this genre of music. I mean you name drop the obvious but I’m sorry though, this album cuts so deep into more obscure bands that were playing this well after the forefathers. I don’t need to go on about my opinion vs yours but at least stop pretending that you’ve covered the bases when trying to pigeonhole a band like this. Makes me want to counter act the review!

Papa Universe
June 15th 2018


17720 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Okay, please do allow me a chance to defend myself. (Hopefully this comes off more cohesive)

Well, I figured that New Order and Joy Division were simple enough (perhaps too simple) points of reference for anyone to understand and still be somewhat accurate. I've had complaints before that my reviews aren't all that clear, mostly because of obscure references (also, I'm not a professional reviewer, big deal). I do realise that this album and this band use a lot more influences. Certainly, the collision of distanced echoic guitar work reminiscent of the 80s synth-based new wave influenced post-punk with perhaps even more abrasive side of pop-y coldwave-like simplicity (I thought I heard some Sad Lovers and Giants in there, but with more of a downtrodden attitude and aggressive instrumentation), what with all the soft instrumental layers coming together into paradoxical disarray, while the cold, subdued vocals and harrowing production still do clearly proclaim it to be a darkwave project. I'll give them that, they definitely try to distinguish themselves from other modern projects (whether or not they succeed is another question, I believe they don't, you probably believe the opposite). There are obvious nods to noise-inspired projects too, without ever clearly falling into that category, only merely coming off somewhat rattling and with a hint of rapid harshness in the background (on a scale from Bodychoke to the Danse Society, think more the onslaught of British goth punk circa 80-85).

For whatever reason they make me think of bands like Aimless Device, BFG, Positive Noise (when they're more sorrowful) and the modern tendencies to mix low fidelity noisy goth with synthetic production (the whole new new wave of Russian darkwave is based on that). But I just think these comparisons are too unknown to the general public. Then again, nobody really read this, so I might as well have added them.

I understand why you're upset about this, I admit this is far from a perfect review, I mostly just blew it off out of spite and frustration for the album's lacking qualities (in my opinion) and if by "counter acting the review" you per chance mean writing a review of your own, then by all means, go for it. I'd love to see what you have to say, seeing as you are clearly more fond of them than I am. But I am happy you reached out, most people just downvote a review and never explain why.

Wizard
June 20th 2018


20201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't ever down vote because I await an explanation (which you've clearly provided). By counteracting a review I would just write a more positive opinion on this, nothing of threatening nature. I wish I had more time in my life to start reviewing again hahaha.



But your explanation is good enough for me and I totally get the obscure references that go over peoples heads. You mentioned Body Choke and your list of references above (some I'll admit I need to do more homework on) so that clarifies that. I run into a lot of troll reviews and I generally call out the ones who have vocabularies like you do but don't exactly have the knowledge behind the music.



Thank you for the response and I totally know where you stand on post punk/ dark wave. Sometimes I take things a little personally!



Still a well written review!

Hawks
July 4th 2018


60929 Comments


Gonna jam this within the next day or two. Last album was amazingggg.

Digging: Four Fists - 6666

bach
September 26th 2018


15915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Missing is a slap among slaps. Wish the vocals weren’t so buried sometimes because tobias has a great voice



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