The Soft Pack -‘The Soft Pack’ (Heavenly)
The debut album from the Soft Pack appears to have been a long time in coming. Certainly, the line-up seems to have taken a while to stabilise and the name change – they first appeared on many people’s radar when it was announced that they had changed their name from the Muslims. And then there was the matter of them appearing on people’s tips for 2009 and 2010, which is when people start asking questions…
So here it is. It differs how many tracks you might find on it (10 on eMusic, 12 on iTunes) but having played this album several times over the last few weeks, it definitely get the thumbs up from me. It should be stated that this is probably not the most original album you will ever hear (then again, how many albums can we say that about?) However, what impresses with this album is that it feels fresh and marks the point in which the proto-punk of the 1960s, both in terms of Garage punk and the Velvet Underground meets with the tunes of the c86 era.
Some songs have an aspect of the ‘twee’ about them (twee in the c86 sense – I definitely mean it as a compliment), like the rather fine opener ‘C’Mon.’ Other tracks like ‘Flammable’ bounce around like an early strokes covering The Stooges (again, I mean that as a compliment). At half an hour long or so, this doesn’t outstay its’ welcome, and my interest has definitely been raised. It’s a huge amount of fun – and I’ll be interested to see what they are like live. However, their second album will need to develop substantially in order to show that they have staying power.
The Soft Pack is out now on Heavenly.