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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover SOCIETY OF ROCKETS, THE Future Factory (Underpop) 2lp 19.98

album cover SOCIETY OF ROCKETS, THE Our Paths Related (Underpop) lp 14.98
A Bay Area band The Society Of Rockets are back with their third album! Although their roots were definitely planted in psychedelic pop, over the last few years their sound has gotten progressively darker and more aggressive. The smoky shades of Our Paths Related intermingles a broad spectrum of other genres and influences -- trippy space rock, gritty blues, rootsy country, mellow '70s rock and maybe even hints of U2 circa "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". However, unlike the current trend of stew-like "experimental psych", these folks' equally trippy music doesn't hide behind murk and meanderings, but shines with terrific songcraft and top-notch musicianship!
MPEG Stream: "Teenage Gears "
MPEG Stream: "Mountain Magic"

album cover SOCIETY OF ROCKETS, THE Sunset Homes (Underpop) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Society Of Rockets fire up their engines and launch forth from the ashes of beloved SF psych-pop combo the Shimmer Kids Underpop Association, and here's their debut release! While some of their spacy 'shimmer' still lingers, overall Society Of Rockets have their navigational dials set to considerably more rural territory, as though the inquisitive band members have spent many an hour exploring grassy meadows and weathered taverns. The results are hauntingly atmospheric and very lovely.
MPEG Stream: "Friends And Enemies"
MPEG Stream: "Never No Fences"

album cover SOCRATES DRANK THE CONIUM On The Wings (Polydor, Greece) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Not a new (re)release, but newly in stock here at AQ. Another one for all you fans of '70s proto-metal hard rock, one of Allan's faves (hence, we got some in when we got the chance). Socrates Drank The Conium were a Greek band, and "On The Wings" was their third album, originally issued in 1973. Psychedelic hard blues rock with ragged, rough-edged English vocals, and -- this is key -- UTTERLY RIPPING twin electric guitar. Definitely an early milestone in heavy acid rock guitar shred. Vangelis later joined this band, but you'd never guess there was any New Age connection from this kick ass album. The songs twist and snake around, with rockin' and doomy riffs, dual guitar harmonies, and crazy leads -- both guitarists playing entirely different, complex licks that somehow meld perfectly. Brilliant stuff. Kinda progressive and utterly powerful. None other than Julian Cope has described this as sounding "a lot like SABBATH VOLUME 4 with Family's Roger Chapman singing". So, if past AQ-reviews of bands like Night Sun, Toad, Wishbone Ash, Flower Travellin' Band, I Teoremi, Tractor, etc. have resulted in successful music purchase/listening experiences for you, then you certainly might want to give this Socrates Drank The Conium album a try. Of course, we only have a few in stock, so please be ready to be patient if/when we run out...
MPEG Stream: "Death Is Gonna Die"

album cover SOCRATES DRANK THE CONIUM s/t (Polydor, Greece) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Got a couple of these in, the first album from the '70s Greek hard rock/psych outfit Socrates Drank The Conium. If you dug their On The Wings album that we listed a little while back, you may also want to check out this reissue. Originally released in 1972, their debut isn't quite as ripping as the totally off-the-hook On The Wings, but it's got plenty of wailing kick ass guitar work nonetheless. Unlike On The Wings there's only one guitar in the mix, but when he gets cooking with the bands' driving rhythm section backing him up he really takes off. There's also some more laid-back, rural psych moments on here, but mostly hard boogie-blues-acid-rock numbers harking back to Cream and Hendrix, assuredly big heroes of Socrates Drank The Conium. They've got something to say through their music as well, as titles like "It's A Disgusting World" and "Underground" indicate, although the band's lasting message might not really be one of radical politics but something more basic: rock on!
MPEG Stream: "It's A Disgusting World"
MPEG Stream: "Starvation"

album cover SODAHBERK, DWAYNE Don't Want To Know You (Tigerbeat6) cd 13.98
Hey, it's *yet another* glitch-alicious release from hyper-prolific label Tigerbeat 6, and it's better than most! Dwayne Sodahberk works in, around and through various dance, glitch and indie conventions, rocking lo-fi beats and bringing elements of electronic experimentalism to the party while not totally rejecting listenability, even occasionally flirting with four on the floor romps. Fun!
RealAudio clip: "Walk Me To The Corner"
RealAudio clip: "Is OK"

SODAHBERK, DWAYNE Unfortunately (Tigerbeat6) cd 14.98

album cover SOEBARDJA, BENNY Gimme A Piece Of Gut Rock (Strawberry Rain) lp 28.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Contains six tracks of the 30 from the 2cd anthology The Lizard Years. Gatefold, limited to 500 copies for the world.
MPEG Stream: "Circle Of Love"

album cover SOEBARDJA, BENNY Night Train (Strawberry Rain) 2lp 35.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Contains eleven tracks of the 30 from the 2cd anthology The Lizard Years. Gatefold, limited to 500 copies for the world.
MPEG Stream: "Wise World"
MPEG Stream: "Stroll-On"

album cover SOEBARDJA, BENNY The Lizard Years (Strawberry Rain) 2cd 17.98
If you really know your '70s Indonesian psych rock, or (like us) at least picked up the great Those Shocking Shaking Days compilation we raved about a while back, then the name Benny Soebardja may be familiar to you... he was lead guitarist and vocalist for fuzzy progsters Shark Move, and also appeared on that comp with his later band, Lizard. The Lizard track, "Candle Light", we said was so classic '70s sounding, that it coulda been the Indonesian answer to the Steve Miller Band! Well, delving deeper into the dusty grooves unearthed by Those Shocking Shaking Days, the Strawberry Rain label (who did the same with another Shocking Shaking Days alumnu`s, AKA) now presents this deluxe double cd, compiling all three private press lps that Benny & Lizard released circa 1976-78. (All 3 are also 'available' as individual vinyl reissues too, in rather limited quantities though, in fact, the first one so limited we never even saw it.... we do have the vinyl of Gimme A Piece Of Gut Rock and double lp Night Train though.)
On this cd collection, there's 30 tracks, including the aforementioned "Candle Light", all of it great psychedelic stuff, definitely groovy, with English lyrics, progressive chops, fancy frenzied fretwork, lovely harmonies, sizzling synths, spacey mellow moments, and a special vibe indeed.
You might get into this initially for all the fuzzed out, "heavy, maaaan" moments, but you'll find yourself coming back for prettier, melodic pop parts too. For sure, this collection reveals Benny S. to be quite the talent in that area, melody being crucial to all these songs, whether he and Lizard are doing heavy rock or jazzy discofunk or Beatles inflected popsike (or some crazy hybrid of all that at once). He certainly didn't limit himself, and it doesn't take titles like "A Signal From Outer Space" to recognize this as truly progressive music (and by the way, that one, which ends disc 2, lives way up to its title!). Lotsa gems here, and it even seems to get better as it goes along, with some of the strongest stuff coming from Lizard's last album, Night Train, though we love it all.
Comes with an informative, illustrated 36 page book, the works.
MPEG Stream: "Candle Light"
MPEG Stream: "Loosing Time"
MPEG Stream: "Circle Of Love"
MPEG Stream: "Wise World"
MPEG Stream: "Stroll-On"

album cover SOFT BOYS Underwater Moonlight (Matador) 2cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Robyn Hitchcock started the Soft Boys in the late 1970s and such is the band's brilliance that it cannot all be contained in one album. They wrote amazing song after amazing song, and the classic Underwater Moonlight album (first released in June 1980) boasts so many of them. Start here for sure, then seek out their other smart and wonderful records Can of Bees, Give it to the Soft Boys, etc. The Rykodisc double disc set of hits & rarities is also excellent -- I wonder if it is still available?
The Soft Boys' sound? Well, Hitchcock said he wanted to cross Abbey Road with Captain Beefheart's Troutmask Replica. Ambitious guy, and he quite succeeds -- the songs are filled with incredible junp-up-and-down energy, manic hooks 'n melodies, and slashing clangy guitar that has deeply influenced everyone from REM to Yo La Tengo to Tall Dwarfs to ... like... EVERYONE.
This Matador reissue contains the entirety of the Underwater Moonlight album along with 9 outtakes and another disc of a previously-unreleased live performances. Lots of new photos and drawings. The triple 150 gram gatefold vinyl version is even more comprehensive, with a bonus 7" that has even more unreleased tracks.
RealAudio clip: "I Wanna Destroy You"
RealAudio clip: "Insanely Jealous"

SOFT BOYS Underwater Moonlight (Matador) 3lp+7" 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Robyn Hitchcock started the Soft Boys in the late 1970s and such is the band's brilliance that it cannot all be contained in one album. They wrote amazing song after amazing song, and the classic Underwater Moonlight album (first released in June 1980) boasts so many of them. Start here for sure, then seek out their other smart and wonderful records Can of Bees, Give it to the Soft Boys, etc. The Rykodisc double disc set of hits & rarities is also quite wonderful!
Their sound? Well, Hitchcock said he wanted to cross Abbey Road with Captain beefheart's Troutmask Replica. Ambitious guy, and he quite succeeds -- the songs are filled with incredible junp-up-and-down energy, manic hooks 'n melodies, and slashing clangy guitar that has deeply influenced everyone from REM to Yo La Tengo to Tall Dwarfs to ... like... EVERYONE.
This Matador reissue contains the entirety of the Underwater Moonlight album along with 9 outtakes and another disc of a previously-unreleased live performances. Lots of new photos and drawings. The triple 150 gram gatefold vinyl version is even more comprehensive, with a bonus 7" that has even more unreleased tracks.

album cover SOFT BOYS, THE A Can Of Bees (Yep Roc) lp 21.00
If you deliriously dug into the recent Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight vinyl reissue, and are seeking more... Well, look no further than that album's older brother, the band's 1979 debut full length which has also been reissued on lp by the fine folks at Yep Roc. Robyn Hitchcock's obtusely peculiar lyrics rally with Kimberley Rew's guitars - at once, somehow both jangly and angular. Granted A Can Of Bees is not quite as bountiful with immediately charming hooks as Underwater Moonlight, but there's still plenty of top notch infectious goodness on it from Hitchcock, Rew and co. Unquestionably though, the band dishes out far more delicious piss'n'vinegar than normally expected from bands inhabiting the neo-psych folk pop arena. Still great thirty two years later!

album cover SOFT BOYS, THE Nextdoorland (Matador) cd 14.98
I have truly mixed feelings about the reunions of bands whose decades-past acheivements I hold in high esteem. On one hand, it's the only way I can share in the experience of seeing them live- and bands like Wire and Mission of Burma prove that that can be a rewarding experience. On the other hand, as soon as those bands channel their tour reunion energy into a studio album, my skepticism increases tenfold.
The Soft Boys had a very succesful and by all accounts excellent reunion tour, and here's the inevitable reunion album. Well. Let's keep in mind the fact that these fellows are responsible for truly brilliant albums like "Underwater Moonlight" and "A Can of Bees," that Robyn Hitchcock has released some very fine solo work, and be thankful. Diehard Hitchcock fans will undoubtably find something to appreciate in "Nextdoorland," which definitely isn't a terrible record, just a relatively non-essential one that most of us can safely pass over. This assesment may be a tad unfair-- the jangly pop found here might just need some "growing time"-- but I'm sticking to it for now.
RealAudio clip: "I Love Lucy"
RealAudio clip: "La Cherite"
RealAudio clip: "Unprotected Love"

album cover SOFT BOYS, THE Underwater Moonlight (Yep Roc) lp 21.00
Finally available on vinyl (again)!
Robyn Hitchcock formed The Soft Boys back in 1976. Pretty much from the get go, they were cranking out amazing song after amazing song, and the songwriting got even more awesome when guitarist Kimberley Rew joined the fold a year later. Their sophomore full length, the classic Underwater Moonlight (first released in June of 1980), boasts so many of them. The band fires up the punk engines with the anthemic "I Wanna Destroy You" and then gets your bubblegum snappin' with "Positive Vibrations" and then melts your heart with "Queen Of Eyes". All the while embedding their pop hooks permanently in your cranium... which is just fine with us! The band was sadly short-lived, burning brightly for just four years, and then going their separate ways shortly after this album (although they did reform briefly in 1994 and 2001). So, that perhaps makes this record even more cherished. The Soft Boys' sound? Well, Hitchcock himself said he wanted to cross The Beatles' Abbey Road with Captain Beefheart's Troutmask Replica. Ambitious guy, and he quite succeeded - these songs are filled with wryly clever absurdist lyrics, manic jump-up-and-down energy, lovely melodies, delicious vocal harmonies, art folk psychedelia, and slashing clangy post-punk guitars. Yes, all that and then some! The band has deeply influenced everyone from Yo La Tengo to Flaming Lips to Destroyer to Tall Dwarfs to REM to... well... EVERYONE. Those who've yet to encounter the brilliance of The Soft Boys should start with this, inarguably their definitive album, and then seek out their other smart and wonderful releases: 1979's Can of Bees, 1977's Give it to the Soft Boys ep, etc. Not to mention Hitchcock's subsequent solo outings as well as Rew's post-Soft Boys solo activities as well as in the deliriously catchy Katrina And The Waves.
MPEG Stream: "I Wanna Destroy You"
MPEG Stream: "Positive Vibrations"
MPEG Stream: "Queen Of Eyes"

album cover SOFT CELL The Bedsit Tapes (Some Bizarre) cd 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We managed to miss this one when it was released a while back in 2005, but we figured we weren't the only ones to let this import cd slip through the cracks. The Bedsit Tapes is the officially released collection of the early demos, escapades, and excursions from the megawatt new wave pop stars Soft Cell. These DIY recordings date back to 1978 when David Ball was attending Leeds Polytechnic, where he made full use of a makeshift recording studio consisting of a couple of reel-to-reel tape decks and a mixing board. Upon wiring up a Korg synth and primitive drum machine, Ball started to make "weird little tunes," one of which caught the ear of fellow student Marc Almond who asked if he could use one of those songs for his performance art shows. The two began refining those electronic blorps and bleeps into arty synth-pop numbers, snarling with contemporary punk energy and technological primitivism. Almond already had developed a charismatic persona, which he jubilantly expressed upon the wide vistas of grandiose theatricality, from the crooning balladeering of "L.O.V.E. Feeling" to the switchblade slashes on the uber-ironic "Bleak Is My Favorite Cliche" to the ominous bark of "Occupational Hazard" and onto the fucked-up delirium of their frenzied cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid." Yeah, you heard us right: Soft Cell covered Sabbath!
Given the stripped down arrangements and trial-by-fire approach to the technology at hand, Soft Cell certainly benefited from Almond's larger than life persona. Such is what gave the 'pop' elements of Throbbing Gristle and Reproduction era Human League their iconic status, and it certainly set the stage for the anthemic '80s hits that Soft Cell would produce later on. While many ordinary Soft Cell fans might be put off by the roughness of these tracks, it's precisely that fucked atonality, that avant-punk electricity, that giddy nervousness, those warbled, sci-fi effects and those ominous drones which make us totally dig this collection. Anyone into the whole "Messthetics" scene, and/or the current revival of retro new wave electronica old and new, should also dig.
MPEG Stream: "L.O.V.E. Feelings"
MPEG Stream: "Science Fiction Stories"
MPEG Stream: "Paranoid"

album cover SOFT CIRCLE Full Bloom (Eastern Development) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Soft Circle is the long-awaited solo debut of former Black Dice drummer and visual artist Hisham Bharoocha. Channeling the cosmic meditative vibe of bands like Popol Vuh and Quintessence and filtering them through similar avant-rock tropes of his contemporaries, Animal Collective, Gang Gang Dance and Exceptor, Bharoocha has crafted a warm yet subdued inner space travelogue. Filled with sitars, tamboura, layered and delayed vocalizing, marimba repetitions and drum circles, Full Bloom sounds like the logical next step after Black Dice's 2002 release Beaches and Canyons. But Black Dice as a group would never have released something so transcendentally focused as Full Bloom, leaving no doubt that Bharoocha's departure from the band was all for the better. The music also complements Bharoocha's concerns as a visual artist nicely, sharing a multi-layered kaleidoscopic spiritualism loaded with tribal and ritualistic ruminations.
Recommended!
MPEG Stream: "Ascend"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled"

album cover SOFT KILL Seven Hundred / Current (Handmade Birds) 7" 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
First appearance on the aQ list for Soft Kill, an offshoot of aQ gloom goth faves Blessure Grave, and as you might expect, SK's sound is not hugely removed from Blessure Grave, but it definitely displays a different direction, with a new, and more warped sound palette, check out "Seven Hundred", which opens with chiming Cure like goth guitar melodies, drifting dreamily over some thick, super distorted synth squelch, while way off in the distance, tribal drums pound and churn. Super hypnotic, and weirdly minimal, until the guitar grows more urgent, the drums following suit, the song finally breaking the tension, and blossoming into a proper song, and maybe surprisingly, a proper pop song. We were expecting it to get seriously heavy and dense (especially considering the fact that the group now features, for this release at least, the drummer from doom heavies Atriarch), but instead, it's warm and jangly, still dark, but more goth pop than death rock, the vocals a deep dramatic croon, eventually exploding into a passionate wail, all over the roiling gloominess below, reminding us of old school goth outfits like Kommunity FK or the Abecedarians.
The flipside "Circle Of Trees" wraps dark twang around skittery programmed beats and some chiming effected guitar melodies, which builds to a darkly propulsive doom-goth groove, and again harkens back to the heyday of early eighties LA goth rock, Soft Kill sounding like the sort of band you'd stumble across playing the Scream Club, it's a sound we've always loved, and one few bands can pull off convincingly, but both tracks here are kicking our asses, and most definitely has us hankering for the upcoming full length.
Pressed on SUPER thick clear red vinyl, housed in a heavy PVC plastic sleeve with a full color cardstock insert. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!

album cover SOFT MACHINE Backwards (Cuneiform) cd 14.98
Yet another archival release of stuff by this still-relevant 'Canterbury' band, one that wedded jazz fusion to prog rock to pure avant-garde invention (file 'em between Miles Davis and King Crimson, unless you're a stickler for alphabetization like me). The majority of this disc (three tracks, about 40 minutes) is live material from 1970, circa their album "Third", recorded by the 'classic' Soft Machine line-up of Elton Dean (sax), Hugh Hopper (bass), Mike Ratledge (electric piano, organ) and Robert Wyatt (drums and vocals). That's followed by two more live tracks, from 1969, recorded by the barely-documented septet version of the group (more sax, and trombone). This disc wraps up with an epic 20-minute demo version of the Wyatt-penned "Moon In June" from '68/'69. This composition was later recorded for "Third" and also appears in an abridged live form as track two of this disc. The 1970 live stuff sounds great, the '69 tracks a little rougher (but very immediate). The "Moon In June" demo was rescued from an apparently quite fucked up acetate, but is miraculously listenable. Liner notes and photos enhance the experience. Ok, that's the basic info...if you're a Softs fan you probably want this. If you have yet to investigate this band's voyage from British psychedelic/prog rock to experimental jazz realms (a voyage also undertaken by many Krautrock bands, probably inspired in part by these guys), you probably want to get "Third" to start with (other suggestions welcome, but that's the one I'm most familiar with). But, as this stuff is from that era, it's also recommended. True, the Soft Machine's style of fusion has its dangers, but whenever the jazz element threatens to get too polite, or the prog too twee, some distorted bass or organ or sax wailing saves the day.
RealAudio clip: "Facelift (live '69)"

SOFT MACHINE Live At The Paradiso 1969 (Blueprint) cd 15.98
13 tracks of prime Soft Machine.

SOFT MACHINE Noisette: Live 1970 (Cuneiform Records) cd 13.98
Elton Dean, Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge, and Lyn Dobson live 1970. Another fine entry in the seemingly never-ending series of archival recordings being dug up of this classic Canterbury rock-jazz act.

SOFT MACHINE Third (Columbia) cd 12.98

SOFT MACHINE Virtually (Cuneiform) cd 12.98
Recorded live for German radio in March of 1971.

SOFT MACHINE, THE s/t (Sundazed) lp 21.00

album cover SOFT METALS Lenses (Captured Tracks) cd 14.98
Los Angeles' synth-pop duo Soft Metals owe a considerable amount of their sound to Chris & Cosey, and they've never been shy of wearing this influence on their sleeves. After all, they actually produced a rather impressive cover of the TG's alienating disco number "Hot On The Heels Of Love" not too long ago. Soft Metals' Patricia Hall has a ghostly vocal delivery that recalls the sensually cool detachment that Cosey has imparted since the late '70s, and Hall & her cohort Ian Hicks revel in the minimal wave ethos of electronic arrangements and step sequencing circa 1984, with absolutely no interest in tapping the digitally driven productions from the mid-'90s onward. The simplicity and reductionism of their technologies and their musical structures can work in their favor, but of course they do have the advantage of hindsight in gazing back at what was truly successful from the golden era of minimal wave. Where the previous recordings from Soft Metals would situate a slinky proto-techno track next to something deliberately disjointed, Lenses operates wholly in the sleek surfaces of glistening electronic percolations layered throughout the acid-trax squelchiness and clockwork ticking drum programming.
MPEG Stream: "Tell Me"
MPEG Stream: "Hourglass"

album cover SOFT METALS Lenses (Captured Tracks) lp 17.98
Los Angeles' synth-pop duo Soft Metals owe a considerable amount of their sound to Chris & Cosey, and they've never been shy of wearing this influence on their sleeves. After all, they actually produced a rather impressive cover of the TG's alienating disco number "Hot On The Heels Of Love" not too long ago. Soft Metals' Patricia Hall has a ghostly vocal delivery that recalls the sensually cool detachment that Cosey has imparted since the late '70s, and Hall & her cohort Ian Hicks revel in the minimal wave ethos of electronic arrangements and step sequencing circa 1984, with absolutely no interest in tapping the digitally driven productions from the mid-'90s onward. The simplicity and reductionism of their technologies and their musical structures can work in their favor, but of course they do have the advantage of hindsight in gazing back at what was truly successful from the golden era of minimal wave. Where the previous recordings from Soft Metals would situate a slinky proto-techno track next to something deliberately disjointed, Lenses operates wholly in the sleek surfaces of glistening electronic percolations layered throughout the acid-trax squelchiness and clockwork ticking drum programming.
MPEG Stream: "Tell Me"
MPEG Stream: "Hourglass"

album cover SOFT METALS s/t (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
Soft Metals have really upped the ante with their sophomore effort, as they have created one of the most sensual and seductive albums of the year. Female vocals that melt with an icy detachment, and Euro-synth stylings that walk the line between the dancefloor and somewhere darker and weirder. Like a lo-fi Goldfrapp adding vocals to a lost Goblin score, or Fever Ray hosting an after hours party at an alternate universe Studio 54, the album flows and comes together so perfectly, the music is just as important as the vocals and together they swirl, sway, and achieve absolute late night bliss. We've been playing this nonstop, a record that pleases so immediately, but that you want to keep around you as on repeated listens it delves and burrows even deeper into our subconscious...
MPEG Stream: "Psychic Driving"
MPEG Stream: "Eyes Closed"
MPEG Stream: "Always"

album cover SOFT METALS s/t (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
Soft Metals have really upped the ante with their sophomore effort, as they have created one of the most sensual and seductive albums of the year. Female vocals that melt with an icy detachment, and Euro-synth stylings that walk the line between the dancefloor and somewhere darker and weirder. Like a lo-fi Goldfrapp adding vocals to a lost Goblin score, or Fever Ray hosting an after hours party at an alternate universe Studio 54, the album flows and comes together so perfectly, the music is just as important as the vocals and together they swirl, sway, and achieve absolute late night bliss. We've been playing this nonstop, a record that pleases so immediately, but that you want to keep around you as on repeated listens it delves and burrows even deeper into our subconscious...
MPEG Stream: "Psychic Driving"
MPEG Stream: "Eyes Closed"
MPEG Stream: "Always"

album cover SOFT METALS The Cold World Melts (Captured Tracks) lp 13.98
Yet another hat thrown into the eighties retro futuristic sci-fi Carpenter / Goblin new/cold/synth wave faux soundtrack ring, this one comes from a duo called Soft Metals, who definitely draw from the same sonic well as many of their contemporaries, but have a sound that's varied (and catchy) enough, to make them pretty interesting.
For folks more into the dark cold wave buzzy synth side of this new wave sound, the opener might throw you for a loop, with it's synth disco vibe and way up in the mix soulful vocals, an overtly eighties montage soundtrack styled jam, but for folks into Italians Do It better and all that sort of Italo disco dancefloor stuff, it will definitely hit the spot. A little bit cheesy, but seemingly purposefully so, primitive drum machines, fuzzy synths, echo drenched female vox, it's total old school electro pop, which surprisingly leads into something much darker, a robotic Kraftwerk like groove, sinister and sci-fi, motorik and hypnotic, with moments that definitely remind us of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit". From there on out the record veers into some total old school electro pop cold wave, very Teutonic, with detached aloof almost spoken vocals, everything wrapped in swirled effects. The next track might be the biggest surprise, like Reich or Riley rendered in analog cold wave synth form, looped and cyclical, sounding a little like 8 bit video game music, mesmerizing and repetitive and so wonderfully hypnotic. Finally the record finishes off the way it started, with another blast of full on swoonsome and dramatic eighties electro pop...

album cover SOFT MOON & JOHN FOXX Evidence (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
First we've heard from aQ beloved SF gloom pop outfit Soft Moon in a while, a single sided 7" featuring the group's collaboration with John Foxx, former vocalist for Ultravox (appearing here with his band, The Maths), and what a match up. Super spaced out spare percussion, dubby and wreathed in reverb, percolating melodies, thick metallic low end thrum, very gloomy and gothy for sure, and then those instantly recognizable vox, super dramatic and passionate, nestled in amongst Soft Moon's (and The Math's) gloriously bleary eighties style gloom pop, atmospheric and haunting, but super catchy. It's only one song, but it's gotten lots of repeat play, and definitely has us wanting to hear more, and also wondering if maybe Foxx should just join Soft Moon full time. Would not be a bad thing at all.

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Breathe The Fire (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Damn, it's getting hard to keep up with Captured Tracks. Every time we blink it seems they have put out a new record of some sort. But keeping up pays off, because they have a pretty amazing record when it comes to fucking great releases. Before we even heard The Soft Moon, we heard so many of our customers in the store asking when we were getting it in. And we can see what all the anticipation and excitement was about as this is for sure one of the finest slabs of wax yet to be released on Captured Tracks. Minimal, driving and sensual post punk. Almost like a sexier Moon Duo, as it shares a similar repetitive and drugged out psychedelic post-Suicide/Spacemen 3 aesthetic, but much more sleek and song based. Makes it even cooler that its all the work of one guy from right here in San Francisco. For sure he fits well in the world of folks like Blank Dogs, Cosmetics, and Pearl Harbor. You can hear that he must have a love for everything from Tones On Tail to Suicide to Slowdive as these two songs melt as much as they slowly burn with such pleasing fire. Fucking great!

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Deeper (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
Album number three by one of our favorite contemporary post-punk projects,The Soft Moon, and we'll just start by saying this one is a fucking corker! Oakland native Luis Vasquez has been the central figure in The Soft Moon for five years now, occasionally fleshing out the band for touring purposes; but in the studio, he works entirely alone. There, he's carved out his suprisingly unique agenda with a trenchant menace, as well as some damn fine goth-pop songwriting chops. Deeper is much more of an electronic record, with many of the songs thrusting forward with gritty, monochromatic synth-noise chords that lift, soar, and collapse upon drum machined spines. The heaving, flanged basslines pilfered from Killing Joke and Siouxsie punctuate most every song with his eerily droned out guitar work used sparingly throughout the album; and then there's his voice, which retains an affected cross between an urgent whisper and a hyperventilated aspiration. The few instances where Vasquez slips into the more classic goth crooner mode, as on the arrestingly gloomy ballad "Wasting" where he bellows with all of emotional portent of Dave Gahan on Depeche Mode's Violator. The pogo-punk bounce from the spry rhythm section that drives tracks like "Far" and "Feel" are almost crushed under the incremental weight of all that nihilist energy Vasquez imbues in these tracks. Akin to that claustrophobic intensity found on The Cure's Pornography, if repurposed for a goth-pop project produced by Silent Servant or Andy Stott. So great is The Soft Moon!
MPEG Stream: "Black"
MPEG Stream: "Far"
MPEG Stream: "Wasting"
MPEG Stream: "Try"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Deeper (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
Album number three by one of our favorite contemporary post-punk projects,The Soft Moon, and we'll just start by saying this one is a fucking corker! Oakland native Luis Vasquez has been the central figure in The Soft Moon for five years now, occasionally fleshing out the band for touring purposes; but in the studio, he works entirely alone. There, he's carved out his suprisingly unique agenda with a trenchant menace, as well as some damn fine goth-pop songwriting chops. Deeper is much more of an electronic record, with many of the songs thrusting forward with gritty, monochromatic synth-noise chords that lift, soar, and collapse upon drum machined spines. The heaving, flanged basslines pilfered from Killing Joke and Siouxsie punctuate most every song with his eerily droned out guitar work used sparingly throughout the album; and then there's his voice, which retains an affected cross between an urgent whisper and a hyperventilated aspiration. The few instances where Vasquez slips into the more classic goth crooner mode, as on the arrestingly gloomy ballad "Wasting" where he bellows with all of emotional portent of Dave Gahan on Depeche Mode's Violator. The pogo-punk bounce from the spry rhythm section that drives tracks like "Far" and "Feel" are almost crushed under the incremental weight of all that nihilist energy Vasquez imbues in these tracks. Akin to that claustrophobic intensity found on The Cure's Pornography, if repurposed for a goth-pop project produced by Silent Servant or Andy Stott. So great is The Soft Moon!
MPEG Stream: "Black"
MPEG Stream: "Far"
MPEG Stream: "Wasting"
MPEG Stream: "Try"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Feel (self-released) 7" 6.98
Two killer tracks self-released by the highly acclaimed minimal wave / gloom pop maestro The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez). The A-side - "Feel" - is a chugging track, beginning with an industrial / muscular rhythm track straight out of a Killing Joke and / or Twitch-era Ministry number, gradually overlaid with an echo-bombard of vocalized whisper that's been rendered a roar and those spidery, cold-cold-cold guitars that Vasquez has laced throughout all of his previous albums. "Feel" is a quintessential Soft Moon jam, we gotta say. The B-side - "Hunger" - though, is way more abstract, more akin to the Bermuda Drain stuff that Prurient released a while back, with a thick, snarling synth drone dragging down Vasquez' spiky guitar melodies, all crusted over with crumbling noise. The slow doomplod of a drum machine creeps into the scalding feedback and synth morass about halfway through. As with any single worth their weight, both tracks are non-album songs. Nope, there's no download code available.
MPEG Stream: "Feel"
MPEG Stream: "Hunger"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Parallels (Captured Tracks) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
While there is no shortage of rad new music coming out of San Francisco, there is something about the sounds of Soft Moon that excite and dazzle us so much that it's safe to say they very well may be our favorite new Bay Area band in quite a while. They came out of nowhere, releasing their incredible debut 7" before even playing a show, and then kicking off their live incarnation with unforgettable performances, including their first ever show where they played with Blank Dogs. Seeing them live after falling so hard for that first slab of wax was just further proof that this was a band we would be loving for a long time to come. This new 7" continues to show the intensity and spot on vision that makes their entrancing psychedelia so damn addicting and satisfying. Both these songs have something so menacing, driving and assured about them. You can't just name a single specific band or era that they are tapping into, and while they do have this really cool dirgey early '80s dark wave disposition there is also something so sensual and singular to their sound. Without a doubt a total contender for our favorite 7" of the year and we are so psyched for their full length to drop in the near future!

album cover SOFT MOON, THE s/t (Captured Tracks) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ok, bear with us here... Might anybody remember Steve Trecasse? We're guessing the answer is no. He has been a small-time music producer, who worked at a time for MTV way back in the mid-to-late '80s. He was responsible for all of the music on the shortlived MTV gameshow Remote Control, but he also composed the theme song for the first incarnation of 120 Minutes. The show grew into a rather banal rehash of major label sponsored "alternative" music, but the early years had some genuine underground acts showcasing their videos. Live Skull, Swans, Sonic Youth, and Loop were some of the more atypical groups to get their videos on the air, alongside more conventional college rock favorites like The Sugarcubes, Love & Rockets, and They Might Be Giants. But that theme song hedged toward the darker, grittier sound through a throbbing electronic underbelly girding an air-raid siren guitar swarm which was not too far from a Skullflower (circa Birthdeath & Form Destroyer) / Sigue Sigue Sputnik / Joy Division hybrid as bafflingly awesome as that may seem. Another weird piece of trivia about that theme song was that it was performed by Trecasse with Doug Di Franco (who might just be Double Dee, turntablist Steinski's partner in crime) and Josh Braun (who seems to be the same dude who played keyboards in Circus Mort, which was Michael Gira's band before Swans). Anyway, that theme song proved to be more haunting and menacing than anything else that 120 Minutes dared to broadcast. It is a bit strange that a song that good, that dark, and that bleak would make it as a theme song for anything, much less for MTV. While that track is clearly something for somebody to dig up beyond an odd YouTube clip here or there, the fact remains that The Soft Moon has unintentionally arrived at this exact same psychic, sonic environment, nearly 25 years later, in an act of convoluted convergent evolution.
The Soft Moon is the post-punk / minimal wave project fronted by Oakland's wunderkid Luis Vasquez, whose eagerly awaited debut album is the perfect extension of his two teasing singles which emerged on Captured Tracks earlier in 2010. Guitars, bass, keyboards, drum machines, and a whispered vocal delivery all come together in a series of monochromatic, mechanical, and gloomy propulsions that fit within the current resurgence of Factory inspired alienation through sound. Amongst his death disco vibes and downer post-punk dirges, Vasquez has a knack for an icy noise quotient that glides through the springy basslines and taut rhythms. Layers drift throughout each song, building never as anything so garish as a solo, but more as a scabrous doppleganger of the songs arching mood. These are tonebent squalls of atonal screeches exhumed from a lo-fi murk and rinsed in pools of reverb, very much like those really early Skullflower recordings when Gary Mundy and Stefan Jaworzyn provided the twin guitar attack. Where Skullflower had a drug-fuelled nihilism at their core, The Soft Moon is more of an alchemist of gloom, doubling rhythms with staccato electronics and downtuned Killing Joke-ish basslines to what would have been a standard Goth plod. In many ways, it makes perfect sense that The Soft Moon has landed on Captured Tracks, as he's mining the same aesthetic surfaces of Blank Dogs, but where Blank Dogs holds back with a subtle irony, The Soft Moon fully embraces the gloom of this music; thus making this one of the best records of 2010 that everybody will be hearing in 2011. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Breathe The Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Circles"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Time"
MPEG Stream: "Tiny Spiders"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE s/t (Captured Tracks) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Ok, bear with us here... Might anybody remember Steve Trecasse? We're guessing the answer is no. He has been a small-time music producer, who worked at a time for MTV way back in the mid-to-late '80s. He was responsible for all of the music on the shortlived MTV gameshow Remote Control, but he also composed the theme song for the first incarnation of 120 Minutes. The show grew into a rather banal rehash of major label sponsored "alternative" music, but the early years had some genuine underground acts showcasing their videos. Live Skull, Swans, Sonic Youth, and Loop were some of the more atypical groups to get their videos on the air, alongside more conventional college rock favorites like The Sugarcubes, Love & Rockets, and They Might Be Giants. But that theme song hedged toward the darker, grittier sound through a throbbing electronic underbelly girding an air-raid siren guitar swarm which was not too far from a Skullflower (circa Birthdeath & Form Destroyer) / Sigue Sigue Sputnik / Joy Division hybrid as bafflingly awesome as that may seem. Another weird piece of trivia about that theme song was that it was performed by Trecasse with Doug Di Franco (who might just be Double Dee, turntablist Steinski's partner in crime) and Josh Braun (who seems to be the same dude who played keyboards in Circus Mort, which was Michael Gira's band before Swans). Anyway, that theme song proved to be more haunting and menacing than anything else that 120 Minutes dared to broadcast. It is a bit strange that a song that good, that dark, and that bleak would make it as a theme song for anything, much less for MTV. While that track is clearly something for somebody to dig up beyond an odd YouTube clip here or there, the fact remains that The Soft Moon has unintentionally arrived at this exact same psychic, sonic environment, nearly 25 years later, in an act of convoluted convergent evolution.
The Soft Moon is the post-punk / minimal wave project fronted by Oakland's wunderkid Luis Vasquez, whose eagerly awaited debut album is the perfect extension of his two teasing singles which emerged on Captured Tracks earlier in 2010. Guitars, bass, keyboards, drum machines, and a whispered vocal delivery all come together in a series of monochromatic, mechanical, and gloomy propulsions that fit within the current resurgence of Factory inspired alienation through sound. Amongst his death disco vibes and downer post-punk dirges, Vasquez has a knack for an icy noise quotient that glides through the springy basslines and taut rhythms. Layers drift throughout each song, building never as anything so garish as a solo, but more as a scabrous doppleganger of the songs arching mood. These are tonebent squalls of atonal screeches exhumed from a lo-fi murk and rinsed in pools of reverb, very much like those really early Skullflower recordings when Gary Mundy and Stefan Jaworzyn provided the twin guitar attack. Where Skullflower had a drug-fuelled nihilism at their core, The Soft Moon is more of an alchemist of gloom, doubling rhythms with staccato electronics and downtuned Killing Joke-ish basslines to what would have been a standard Goth plod. In many ways, it makes perfect sense that The Soft Moon has landed on Captured Tracks, as he's mining the same aesthetic surfaces of Blank Dogs, but where Blank Dogs holds back with a subtle irony, The Soft Moon fully embraces the gloom of this music; thus making this one of the best records of 2010 that everybody will be hearing in 2011. Awesome.
MPEG Stream: "Breathe The Fire"
MPEG Stream: "Circles"
MPEG Stream: "Out Of Time"
MPEG Stream: "Tiny Spiders"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Total Decay (Captured Tracks) cd ep 10.98
In the year since its release the Soft Moon's debut full length has become a rare unanimous favorite here at aQuarius, and many other places too we would imagine. The songs were immediately gripping, but over time we came to the realization that the album is, dare we say, pretty dang perfect, and within the sea of similarly styled bands who would describe themselves as "dark" that record is one that will stand out as a classic. We often find ourselves wondering how something could be so goddamn amazing, managing to sound both familiar and unique to itself. Soft Moon mainman Luis Vasquez has taken things to the next logical step by assembling a full band to bring these songs to the live stage, and with the arrival of this brand new ep, Vasquez and company effortlessly show the world that there is more where that came from. The only issue we have here is Total Decay's short running time - but then it's an ep, so who are we to complain. Clocking in at under 15 minutes, we are already salivating for the next Soft Moon platter, but like the two singles that preceded the debut album, where we were given some months to digest the tunes and think about what might come next, Total Decay works in setting a mood while you hunger for what's around the corner. And yet, the ep also works well as a brief but wholly contained slab of music, beginning with "Repetition", where a murky post-punk bassline sets the flow over steady driving rhythms and frantically atmospheric synths that are as chillingly sexy as they are ominous. "Alive" would be a good place to start for someone who has never heard this band, displaying all the Joy Division / Wire / whatever influences they have merged into a sound that really belongs only to them at this point, with Vasquez's strange shouted whispers (or whispered shouts?) occasionally soaring into the disembodied falsetto that has become one of the band's trademarks. No doubt the standout here is the title track, which lurches forward midtempo with an industrial buzz and provides the perfect score to wandering alone through all the creepy abandoned parts of town. The heavily effected vocals feel like the voice of some sexless robo-narrator guiding you along and offering no guarantees that you won't get your ass kicked by whoever or whatever happens to be lurking around in the shadows as beautiful buried synths bring all kinds of strange melodies into the mix. The final track, "Visions", is a claustrophobic percussion workout with more creepy ambience that, again, has most of us desperately freaking out in advance for the next full length. Guess we'll just have to be patient, but until then Total Decay will be on constant repeat.
MPEG Stream: "Alive"
MPEG Stream: "Total Decay"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Total Decay (Captured Tracks) 12" 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
NOW ON VINYL!!
In the year since its release the Soft Moon's debut full length has become a rare unanimous favorite here at aQuarius, and many other places too we would imagine. The songs were immediately gripping, but over time we came to the realization that the album is, dare we say, pretty dang perfect, and within the sea of similarly styled bands who would describe themselves as "dark" that record is one that will stand out as a classic. We often find ourselves wondering how something could be so goddamn amazing, managing to sound both familiar and unique to itself. Soft Moon mainman Luis Vasquez has taken things to the next logical step by assembling a full band to bring these songs to the live stage, and with the arrival of this brand new ep, Vasquez and company effortlessly show the world that there is more where that came from. The only issue we have here is Total Decay's short running time - but then it's an ep, so who are we to complain. Clocking in at under 15 minutes, we are already salivating for the next Soft Moon platter, but like the two singles that preceded the debut album, where we were given some months to digest the tunes and think about what might come next, Total Decay works in setting a mood while you hunger for what's around the corner. And yet, the ep also works well as a brief but wholly contained slab of music, beginning with "Repetition", where a murky post-punk bassline sets the flow over steady driving rhythms and frantically atmospheric synths that are as chillingly sexy as they are ominous. "Alive" would be a good place to start for someone who has never heard this band, displaying all the Joy Division / Wire / whatever influences they have merged into a sound that really belongs only to them at this point, with Vasquez's strange shouted whispers (or whispered shouts?) occasionally soaring into the disembodied falsetto that has become one of the band's trademarks. No doubt the standout here is the title track, which lurches forward midtempo with an industrial buzz and provides the perfect score to wandering alone through all the creepy abandoned parts of town. The heavily effected vocals feel like the voice of some sexless robo-narrator guiding you along and offering no guarantees that you won't get your ass kicked by whoever or whatever happens to be lurking around in the shadows as beautiful buried synths bring all kinds of strange melodies into the mix. The final track, "Visions" is a claustrophobic percussion workout with more creepy ambience that, again, has most of us desperately freaking out in advance for the next full length. Guess we'll just have to be patient, but until then Total Decay will be on constant repeat.
MPEG Stream: "Alive"
MPEG Stream: "Total Decay"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Zeros (Captured Tracks) cd 14.98
From the very first time we heard post punk / minimal wave / gloom pop one man band The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez), we were totally smitten. The sound dark and menacing, distorted drum machines, buzzing low slung basslines, tangled melodies, all woven into a sort of lo-fi downer wave propulsion, that took the Cure, removed much of the overt poppiness, and instead recast it as some sort of home brewed post industrial goth wave, replete with breathy whispered vox, woozy minor key refrains and alien atmospheres, everything wreathed in a washed out eighties murk, noisy and rough around the edges, we couldn't get enough.
The Total Decay ep seemed to be an extension of the self titled debut, a perfect slab of similarly shadowy post punk nihilism, but if anything it was the bridge between that record and this one, where Vasquez' sound has blossomed into something even more perfect, a twisted dystopian future-wave, all thick, corrosive buzzing synths, and dubbed out machine funk, keening sine wave melodies, and woozy, echo drenched ambience. It's all about the sound. Really it always was, which is ironic since we often complain about bands getting the sound right, but not having the songs to back it up, but with The Soft Moon, while there are still songs lurking in the shadows, it's really all about the sound, and the sound is so impossibly perfect. All it takes is a few second of the opener, "It Ends", with it's dense blown out buzzing low end synth buzz, dubbed out hand clap rhythms, and frantic percussive skitter, not to mention the weirdly mournful keening melody over the top, it's like all the best parts of witch house, reimagined as some mutant strain of cold wave, we would have been perfectly happy if that sub two minute chunk of pulsing, buzzing witch-wave was stretched out to fill up the whole record, even if it just stayed locked in that witch loop. Sure it's an intro, but we've listened to it about 20 times in a row!
Thankfully, that alien electronic witch-wave oozes into the rest of the record, wrapping its inky tendrils around the more recognizable Soft Moon style of jagged rhythms, Factory style basslines, echo drenched guitar jangle, and hypno wave groove, cold and clinical, like the soundtrack to some alternate future, and as one grows accustomed to the sound, suddenly, as if by some slight of hand, the songs reveal themselves, a melody here, a vocal there, a hook hidden beneath a cascade of corrosive metallic crunch, a catchy chorus obscured by sheets of synth buzz and dubbed out robotic rhythms, repeated listens are definitely rewarded, the record acting almost as some sort of sonic portal, requiring a deep listening key, ultimately allowing the listener access to the inner workings of The Soft Moon's sentient musical machine.
Oh and stick around for the closer, a reverse bookend of that witch-wave opener, literally, as it's the opening track in reverse, which only makes it that much more psychedelic and fantastically fucked up.
MPEG Stream: "It Ends"
MPEG Stream: "Machines"
MPEG Stream: "Zeros"
MPEG Stream: "Insides"

album cover SOFT MOON, THE Zeros (Captured Tracks) lp 18.98
Now finally we have enough of the new Soft Moon on vinyl to list that format too!
From the very first time we heard post punk / minimal wave / gloom pop one man band The Soft Moon (aka Luis Vasquez), we were totally smitten. The sound dark and menacing, distorted drum machines, buzzing low slung basslines, tangled melodies, all woven into a sort of lo-fi downer wave propulsion, that took the Cure, removed much of the overt poppiness, and instead recast it as some sort of home brewed post industrial goth wave, replete with breathy whispered vox, woozy minor key refrains and alien atmospheres, everything wreathed in a washed out eighties murk, noisy and rough around the edges, we couldn't get enough.
The Total Decay ep seemed to be an extension of the self titled debut, a perfect slab of similarly shadowy post punk nihilism, but if anything it was the bridge between that record and this one, where Vasquez' sound has blossomed into something even more perfect, a twisted dystopian future-wave, all thick, corrosive buzzing synths, and dubbed out machine funk, keening sine wave melodies, and woozy, echo drenched ambience. It's all about the sound. Really it always was, which is ironic since we often complain about bands getting the sound right, but not having the songs to back it up, but with The Soft Moon, while there are still songs lurking in the shadows, it's really all about the sound, and the sound is so impossibly perfect. All it takes is a few second of the opener, "It Ends", with it's dense blown out buzzing low end synth buzz, dubbed out hand clap rhythms, and frantic percussive skitter, not to mention the weirdly mournful keening melody over the top, it's like all the best parts of witch house, reimagined as some mutant strain of cold wave, we would have been perfectly happy if that sub two minute chunk of pulsing, buzzing witch-wave was stretched out to fill up the whole record, even if it just stayed locked in that witch loop. Sure it's an intro, but we've listened to it about 20 times in a row!
Thankfully, that alien electronic witch-wave oozes into the rest of the record, wrapping its inky tendrils around the more recognizable Soft Moon style of jagged rhythms, Factory style basslines, echo drenched guitar jangle, and hypno wave groove, cold and clinical, like the soundtrack to some alternate future, and as one grows accustomed to the sound, suddenly, as if by some slight of hand, the songs reveal themselves, a melody here, a vocal there, a hook hidden beneath a cascade of corrosive metallic crunch, a catchy chorus obscured by sheets of synth buzz and dubbed out robotic rhythms, repeated listens are definitely rewarded, the record acting almost as some sort of sonic portal, requiring a deep listening key, ultimately allowing the listener access to the inner workings of The Soft Moon's sentient musical machine.
Oh and stick around for the closer, a reverse bookend of that witch-wave opener, literally, as it's the opening track in reverse, which only makes it that much more psychedelic and fantastically fucked up.
MPEG Stream: "It Ends"
MPEG Stream: "Machines"
MPEG Stream: "Zeros"
MPEG Stream: "Insides"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Grinding Halt (Kemado) 7" 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) cd 13.98
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) lp 16.98
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) 12" 15.98
For a while, there was a band called the Muslims, who were seriously hyped, before squeamishness about their obviously problematic moniker found the band changing their name to Soft Pack, only to have the kids cry 'sell out', but hell, one can only imagine trying to get on a plane with a bunch of flight cases filled with strange battery powered devices, all stenciled with the words 'The Muslims'. But hell, whatever they're called, it's easy to see what all the hubbub was about. These guys kick up a seriously excellent racket, somewhere between the lo-fi jangle of groups like Thee Oh Sees and the Fresh & Onlys, classic hooky Britpop and the more seriously post punk rock of the Hot Snakes, which is precisely how this 12" plays out. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, while "Eat Gold" is a pounding and manic with on-the-verge-of-cracking vocals and a definite screamo vibe, and then there's "Answer To Yourself" which also has a Strokes vibe, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, while the final track follows a similar sonic path, but adding a bit more grit and distortion. Really good stuff, it's easy to see why these guys were, and still are the talk of the town, it's not hard to imagine them on Matador, or opening for Interpol or on MTV. Which is not a bad thing at all. Especially considering we've been listening to this pretty much nonstop since we got it.
LIMITED TO 500 COPIES, each one hand numbered, with a download code so you can cram these jams onto your computer.

album cover SOFT PACK, THE s/t (Kemado) 8x7" 35.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We had this marked out of print, but just realized we have ONE COPY LEFT of this super deluxe 7" boxset from the Soft Pack, a special Record Store Day release, which features the band's self titled debut, on multiple 7"s, including a bonus single with two unreleased tracks!
We've been going a little Soft Pack crazy lately, with the recent spate of releases from these guys, a 7" with a killer Cure cover, a 4 song 12", as well as a repress of their first record, recorded back when they were called The Muslims, their hooky jangle and stripped down garage pop just totally hitting the spot. Long touted as the next big thing, it's hard not to see how they WOULDN'T be, their sound right at home alongside the Strokes, probably the band they sound most like, sunshiney, jangly garage pop with drawled vox, each song only two or three parts, total classic power pop, but given a sort of modern day slacker makeover. Opener "C'Mon" is equal parts frantic jangle and Strokes-y indie sunglasses jangle pop, "Down On Loving" is a loping punk rock garage groove, laid back, but super rocking, with call and response vocals, but it's "Answer To Yourself", also on the recently reviewed 12" that is the stone cold hit here, a little like a way more rocking Hoodoo Gurus, surf guitars, and world weary vocals, garagey, with pounding muted verses and a soaring chorus, the Strokes vibe here is HUGE, but hell, those guys were awesome popsmiths, and these guys are too, and this is a killer jam, the one we find ourselves listening to over and over and over.
But don't get stuck for too long, or you'll miss out on a whole mess of other pop gems, tribal shuffling grooves, frantic clean guitar strumming, loads of jangle, simple bouncy basslines, shimmering synths, and hooks galore, every song more catchy than the last, not sure what's keeping these guys from blowing up, maybe it's the fact that they're not super hipster hunky, instead just regular dorky dudes, but hopefully that won't dissuade the rest world from getting hip to these guys.
Even if for some weird reason we felt like resisting, bucking the Soft Pack hype, not sure we could stop listening. Totally addictive, stripped down, jangly, garage pop bliss. WAY RECOMMENDED!! Now we can go back and play "Answer To Yourself" for about the tenth time today...
MPEG Stream: "C'Mon"
MPEG Stream: "Down On Loving"
MPEG Stream: "Answer To Yourself"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Strapped (Mexican Summer) cd 10.98
Also on compact disc!!
We've loved pretty much everything these guys have put out, their sound a super catchy jangly indie rock, that at times is a dead ringer for The Strokes, but for whatever reason, we like these guys a whole lot more. The songs are more rough and ragged, and while maybe not MORE catchy, definitely catchy in a different way. And this record, from the very first listen, has pretty much set itself up to be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. The opener "Saratoga" is a jittery propulsive blowout, all bubbly bass, frenetic drumming, with some killer catchy riffing, and languid laid back vocals, the second track finds the band in Strokes mode again, slowing things down a bit, even adding some horns, while "They Say" sounds like it could be the single, with a propulsive almost new wave-y beat, some big crunchy guitars, and a vocal line that will stick in your head for days!
And so it goes, "Tallboy" adds some whirring organ, the sound almost classic rock, while "Bobby Brown", is dangerously funky, the band flirting with eighties pop, sounding suddenly like they should be on Captured Tracks, but then in swoops "Chinatown" another barnburner, that we imagine will inspire jittery indie rock bounce and hair swirling headbanging in equal measure. And stick around for the sprawling "Captain Ace" which sounds very nineties, in a good way, mixing in lots of tripped out effects, lots of layers and texture, more horns, strange sci-fi effects, all stretched out into a glorious slab of psychedelic indie pop space out.
MPEG Stream: "Saratoga"
MPEG Stream: "Second Look"
MPEG Stream: "They Say"

album cover SOFT PACK, THE Strapped (Mexican Summer) lp 17.98
We've loved pretty much everything these guys have put out, their sound a super catchy jangly indie rock, that at times is a dead ringer for The Strokes, but for whatever reason, we like these guys a whole lot more. The songs are more rough and ragged, and while maybe not MORE catchy, definitely catchy in a different way. And this record, from the very first listen, has pretty much set itself up to be on heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. The opener "Saratoga" is a jittery propulsive blowout, all bubbly bass, frenetic drumming, with some killer catchy riffing, and languid laid back vocals, the second track finds the band in Strokes mode again, slowing things down a bit, even adding some horns, while "They Say" sounds like it could be the single, with a propulsive almost new wave-y beat, some big crunchy guitars, and a vocal line that will stick in your head for days!
And so it goes, "Tallboy" adds some whirring organ, the sound almost classic rock, while "Bobby Brown", is dangerously funky, the band flirting with eighties pop, sounding suddenly like they should be on Captured Tracks, but then in swoops "Chinatown" another barnburner, that we imagine will inspire jittery indie rock bounce and hair swirling headbanging in equal measure. And stick around for the sprawling "Captain Ace" which sounds very nineties, in a good way, mixing in lots of tripped out effects, lots of layers and texture, more horns, strange sci-fi effects, all stretched out into a glorious slab of psychedelic indie pop space out.
LIMITED TO 2000 COPIES! Each one hand numbered.
MPEG Stream: "Saratoga"
MPEG Stream: "Second Look"
MPEG Stream: "They Say"

album cover SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party? (Soundslike) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
If Martin Schmidt has anything to say in the matter, "Do You Party" will be the one and only Soft Pink Truth album. For the Soft Pink Truth is the work of Drew Daniel, Schmidt's partner in the acclaimed San Francisco electronica duo Matmos. Where Matmos flirted with notions of dance music, incorporating all sorts of electro-acoustic experiments and eccentric sampling techniques, the Soft Pink Truth offers a cheese ball pastiche of queer pop culture references -- disco fantasy, robot funk, big booty bounces, and house cliches all rolled up in a ridiculous explosion of libidinal pleasure. It's clear that the clipped house grooves that emerged in Matmos' third album "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure," were just teasings of the bright-pink, spandex electro-pants that Daniel was itching to put on. Thus, "Do You Party" is the full realization of those house leanings that Daniel wanted to explore, but had been kept in check by the "experimental" aesthetic which Matmos had so carefully constructed. In fact the Soft Pink Truth is the by-product of a dare to Daniel from Matthew Herbert to make this record; and Daniel dutifully produced a cheesy, nasty, and funky house album but with plenty of twists and turns to make it much more than your garden variety Castro club fodder. Along with the Sylvester acid squelches, there's a goofy Vanity 6 cover of "Make-Up" with disembodied vocals presented by Bevin Blechtum and there's also plenty of smarty-pants gender bending allusions that pop up throughout the album. But when the day is done, the (soft pink) truth about "Do You Party" is that it's all about booty.
MPEG Stream: "Make Up"
MPEG Stream: "Promo Funk"

SOFT PINK TRUTH Do You Party? (Soundslike) 2x12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Finally available on vinyl (with three less tracks). Here's what we said about the cd a few lists back:
If Martin Schmidt has anything to say in the matter, "Do You Party" will be the one and only Soft Pink Truth album. For the Soft Pink Truth is the work of Drew Daniel, Schmidt's partner in the acclaimed San Francisco electronica duo Matmos. Where Matmos flirted with notions of dance music, incorporating all sorts of electro-acoustic experiments and eccentric sampling techniques, the Soft Pink Truth offers a cheese ball pastiche of queer pop culture references -- disco fantasy, robot funk, big booty bounces, and house cliches all rolled up in a ridiculous explosion of libidinal pleasure. It's clear that the clipped house grooves that emerged in Matmos' third album "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure," were just teasings of the bright-pink, spandex electro-pants that Daniel was itching to put on. Thus, "Do You Party" is the full realization of those house leanings that Daniel wanted to explore, but had been kept in check by the "experimental" aesthetic which Matmos had so carefully constructed. In fact the Soft Pink Truth is the by-product of a dare to Daniel from Matthew Herbert to make this record; and Daniel dutifully produced a cheesy, nasty, and funky house album but with plenty of twists and turns to make it much more than your garden variety Castro club fodder. Along with the Sylvester acid squelches, there's a goofy Vanity 6 cover of "Make-Up" with disembodied vocals presented by Bevin Blechtum and there's also plenty of smarty-pants gender bending allusions that pop up throughout the album. But when the day is done, the (soft pink) truth about "Do You Party" is that it's all about booty.
MPEG Stream: "Make Up"
MPEG Stream: "Promo Funk"

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