The Soft Moon
Oct 31, 2012 Web Exclusive
A few years back there was a brief uproar in the media over the addictiveness of a well-known energy drink and the hallucinatory effects of its caffeine/taurine content in tired commuters. This story came to mind when listening to Zeros, the new album from The Soft Moon; imagine having said drink slipped into your morning coffee and then putting Fuck Buttons on.
Given the similarities between the San Franciscan psychedelic post punks and Fuck Buttons, it almost seems incongruous that parts of Zeros come across as a throwback to the early 1990s. There are enough nods to the likes of Underworld for opener "It Ends" (and the backwards-played, terrifying closer "ƨbnƎ ƚI") for the album to be bookended with the smell of London's urbanised eastern outskirts, and with its drums and synths seeming to race each other over heavily-distorted vocals, "Machines" could almost be mistaken for The Prodigy. Elsewhere, the bass intro to "Lost Years" is reminiscent of Nirvana on
heavy drugs more heavy drugs.
The main surprise on Zeros, though, is that this still sounds like a solo project from Luis Vasquez, rather than a full band effort. The way he swamps punk's chaotic ideals with a hardcore electronica décor is impressive, but sometimes the lack of space afforded for either breath or his bandmates' individual qualities is misguided; rather than enthral as they do on the brilliant highlight "Crush," the abstract noises on tracks such as "Want" and "Die Life" grate like a bad hangover. (www.thesoftmoon.com)
Author rating: 6.5/10
Average reader rating: 7/10