SOFT SHOULDER: No Draw: LP

Jan 13, 2016

Soft Shoulder have this odd familiarity about them that I can’t easily identify. They remind me of the very late-’90s into the early-’00s. Yet, they don’t sound dated. Art-damaged, post-punk, post-hardcore, post... post. There’s a minimalism here that gives the music a sharp edge. Guitars and bass stab and trudge forcibly forward while the vocals have a commanding presence. The material on the first side is okay—the songs have attitude and are catchy. It’s the B-side with the hypnotic sludge of “Repeat #3” that hooks me in. It’s a repetitive beat that brings to mind Can with its steady-yet-driving shuffle that stays the course for the most part as the rest of the song mutates, folds in on itself, morphs again, and then back. Sort of like a Morton Feldman composition—but punk and dirtied up. Listening to this change over the course of an entire side is pretty interesting—because the way in which it changes aren’t always expected—and the journey to how it started at point A and arrived at an almost entirely different song at point Z is what will keep you on for the entire ride. More of this, please.

 –M.Avrg (Gilgongo, gilgongorecords.com)

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