Get yourself onto YouTube and search Soft Riot and album title in the search bar, and you'll find a genuine 'promotional film', not a trailer or an album sampler, but an actual promotional film. I can't decide if this is the future of music advertisement, or a whimsical attempt at selling music? Either way, The Outsider In The Mirrors is the latest release from Soft Riot and is available on vinyl LP, CD and Tape from Possession Records. (Seriously, search that promotional video, it's hilarious).
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It's now ok to like Gary Numan but I remember a time when it wasn't. Soft Riot is a project led by the mysterious JJD - a man who has come to the conclusion that he has been put on earth to make a record that is as dark and serious as any Numan or Fad Gadget album. 'The Outsider in Mirrors' is an entertaining collection of dark 80s synth pop that has a sort of comical air about it that I can't work out is intentional or not. If this is a comedy album then it's pretty darn brilliant. The lyrics are magnificent. 'Keep Your Eyes on the Prize' rejoices in a chorus of "Outsider alien, do you feel ok?, Come in closer so you don't feel so insane, outside alien, if you slow down to catch your breath, stop and falter, you'll catch a piece of death".
"a piece of death"???
So why is this funny and the music of Cabaret Voltaire isn't? Well I suppose it's all funny when you stop and think about it. Nothing is as spot on as John Foxx's 'Underpass' (underpants) but it all has that veering-on-the-edge-of-being-amusing thing. Like you know Seona Dancing .....and we all know what became of them. I should probably stop laughing at/with the album for a minute to enjoy the blooping electronics and note how JDD's voice gets so low in pitch that it would be inaudible to dogs. 'You See How They Burn' is my favourite thing here with it's tightly cut electronics and an odd discordant chorus.
I actually can't take anymore of this. It's messing a bit with my brain. I need a cup of tea and a sit down or I'll catch a piece of death.
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- The Outsider In The Mirrors by Soft Riot
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