Soft Metals


Captured Tracks

Jul 16, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Two years from its self-titled debut, this "synth-pop romance" has entered into a drab second phase. While the first album wasn't exactly built for the bumping masses of the dance floor, it had a cool, shifting vibe that borrowed from Italo disco and Italian horror; there were sections of Soft Metals as indebted to Dario Argento as to electronic dance music. This follow-up drops many of their cinematic aspects in favor of hazier, ambient numbers; Ian Hicks' racing, John Carpenter-esque synth riffs have been swapped for layers of shimmery, shapeless muck. Patricia Hall's drawn-out vocals do nothing to raise the pulse rate; the lyrics move more slowly than the music. While this could have been a record defined by atmosphere, the near-absence of energy and long, formless instrumental sections will have listeners tuning out long before it hits any sort of stride. If the musicians sound bored, how should we feel? (

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