If you ever feel like you could do with some sad reading you could do worse than the press release for Soft Kill's Saviour. Even without reading it there is obviously sadness behind this music. Post-punk that's as down as the genre's ever been, with vocals whose distance is only amplified by being hidden in the mix. On Profound Lore.
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In the vein of neighbouring metal label Iron Lung Records, the wonderful Profound Lore throw their customary curveball with another Soft Kill record, a shimmering post-punk band who share the career end-game of bands like Ceremony and Iceage in their decision to go gloomy and gothic over all other things. Their latest record contains songs of trauma and grieving from frontman Tobias Grave, who tragically lost his newborn son while writing. This, coupled with lyrics about drug addiction, is detailed over pristine guitar and synth, the band’s atmosphere in cruise control as they navigate their way through dark, unimaginable spaces.
Of all the post-punk bands using this kind of aesthetic, Soft Kill sound the best, the most fresh, able to seamlessly upgrade a post-punk past and keep energy levels at a high. The way Grave writes -- unintentionally, carried by what comes -- can be heard within the song structures themselves, their rhythms sounding like open loops for repleting ideas. The band perfectly straddle repetition and renewal, with riffs and noisy abstractions coming through in pieces.
It’s a gorgeous listen, though it’s often hard to take, their sound matching up against a new kind raw, confessional storytelling that details post-punk as life as much as art. It’s put together staggeringly well, earning the influences the band list for it -- the shiny, triumphantly over processed pop of U2 and the devastating punk snarl of Gun Club.
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- Savior by Soft Kill
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