A few years back a band by the name of The Muslims exploded out of California with the supposed surf-rock answer to The Strokes. Now, the band has changed their name to The Soft Pack, and have released their self-titled album on Kemado Records. It’s exactly what you would expect from a California garage group.
Upon listening to the first track, “C’mon,” the band’s formula is immediately apparent. They combine mild surf guitars with the fueling of a garage practice space, and they lyrics have a slight hint of punk drawl delivery. But, what listeners will see is that the lyrics are severely lacking in the developmental sense. The only words that really stand out are “c’mon,” uttered over and over again.
By the third track, “Answer to Yourself,” nothing much has changed in the structure of the album. Lyrics are overtly redundant, and clearly lacking in any creative sense. Musically, it just seems like a consistent re-hash of song after song. There’s a definite energy to the group, but you’ll be hard pressed at this point to find much else in the offering.
When you get to “Pull Out” the bass is a little bit heavier, while the guitars are reminiscent of living close to the waters. Still, water is the only thing that really comes to mind at this juncture in the album. Everything about the band just comes across as watered-down, and just out of touch. It’s not something that you can stand up and say that you hate because it really isn’t horrendous musically, it just isn’t anything that warrants listening to time and time again. It’s almost as if the band is treading water in the same place for the duration of the record. Tired of the water analogy?
What once seemed like a promising moment for the band seems to have slipped away as The Soft Pack has compiled a solid set of forgettable songs that you won’t remember when their gone. It’s quite a shame that all this work and popularity came to nought for the band. Garage moments and surf-guitars are great, but in this day and age something has to be done to distinguish yourself from the masses in order to reach the pinnacle of the genre, and it’s hard to find a standout moment on the album, aside from the joke track “Move-Along,” which is more of just a “WTF?” moment than anything. This is just one man’s opinion, but you won’t find the self-titled album from The Soft Pack spinning around my house any time soon.