The Soft Pack | Cake Shop | 2.05.2010

 Whenever you see a colorized high-contrast photo on this site, you know it's 'cause I took sucky pictures.  

Folks were just beginning to file downstairs at Cake Shop when the band launched into "C'mon," clearly ready to get on with their Friday night. It was totally a I-won't-do-what-you-tell-me Soft Pack thing to do. The LA band were finishing up a whirlwind tour promoting the release of their debut album, which included 10 shows the previous Saturday in their current hometown and had been going nonstop ever since. Only one show this day in NYC, but it was a late one — doors at midnight — as well as being all-ages and free. Me, I was in the bathroom line when they started but made it down front by the end of the the second song of their 13-number set.

The Soft Pack are a lot of fun to watch: Guitarist Matt McLoughlin has an intense, gnashed-teeth grin on his face the whole time; bassist David Lantzman (whose birthday it was) is all laid back California cool; and stand-up drummer Brian Hill keeps things barrelling along sans hi-hat. And singer Matt Lamkin ties it all together with that low key but we-mean-it-man attitude. We got most of the new album, a few choice cuts from their Muslims days and their almost unrecognizable cover of Phoenix's "Fences." They finish with the storming "Parasites" (the new album's only retread of old material) that makes the most of it's one chord. The song typifies the Soft Pack too. Maybe the parts aren't new, but they play them like they are.

SETLIST: C'Mon | Down On Loving | Answer to Yourself | Extinction | Bright Side | Right and Wrong | Tides of Time | Beside Myself | More or Less | Faith Man | Fences | Pull Out | Parasites 

MP3: The Soft Pack – Pull Out (buy it!)

I think "Pull Out" may be my favorite song on the new album, rivalling "Parasites" for energy and snarl, sort of surf rock via New Zealand. The whole album is good and, apart from "Parasites" (which was just a single) it's all new material. That first EP never really got a proper release so they coulda just reused all those songs for this, which they didn't (and clearly didn't need to) do and you gotta give them credit for that. The Soft Pack will be back in NYC in April with Nodzz, The Beaters and Male Bonding, so don't miss 'em when they're play. Dates are after the jump.


The Soft Pack 2010 tour dates:

Feb 12 David Letterman USA TV Debut    New York

Feb 13 Joiners    Southampton, UK

Feb 14 Freebutt    Brighton, UK

Feb 15 Cooler    Bristol, UK

Feb 17 NME show at KOKO w/ Babyshambles – SOLD OUT!    London, UK

Feb 18 The Plug, Sheffield    Sheffield

Feb 19 Ruby Lounge    Manchester, UK

Feb 20 Korova    Liverpool, UK

Feb 22 Cluny    Newcastle, UK

Feb 23 King Tuts    Glasgow, UK

Feb 24 Cabaret Voltaire    Edinburgh, UK

Feb 25 Rocket    Leeds, UK

Feb 26 Bodega    Nottingham, UK

Feb 27 O2 Academy 3    Birmingham, UK

Mar 1 MTC    Cologne, Germany

Mar 2 Paradiso    Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mar 3 AB CLub    Brussels, Belgium

Mar 4 Nouveau Casino    Paris, France

Mar 6 Indie Club Grüner Jäger    Hamburg, Germany

Mar 7 Zapata (Tacheles)    Berlin, Germany

Mar 21 DOUBLE WIDE BAR (BRO FEST- STARTS AT 3PM)    Dallas, Texas

Mar 23 PROUD LARRY’S w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Oxford, Mississippi

Mar 24 EXIT/IN w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Nashville, Tennessee

Mar 25 THE EARL w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Atlanta, Georgia

Mar 26 CAT’S CRADLE w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Carrboro, North Carolina

Mar 27 BLACK CAT w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    WASHINGTON DC, Washington DC

Mar 29 GREAT SCOTT w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Allston, Massachusetts

Mar 30 JOHNNY BRENDAS w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Mar 31 MAXWELL’S w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Hoboken, New Jersey

Apr 1 THE MERCURY LOUNGE w/ NODZZZ, BEATERS    Manhattan, New York

Apr 3 MUSIC HALL OF WILLIAMSBURG w/ MALE BONDING, NODZZZ, BEATERS    Brooklyn, New York

Apr 6 LA TULIPE w/ MALE BONDING, BEATERS    Montreal

Apr 7 EL MOCAMBO CLUB w/ MALE BONDING, BEATERS    Toronto

Apr 8 MAGIC STICK w/ MALE BONDING, BEATERS    Detroit, Michigan

Apr 9 THE EMPTY BOTTLE w/ MALE BONDING, BEATERS    Chicago, Illinois

Apr 10 TURF CLUB w/ MALE BONDING, BEATERS    St. Paul, Minnesota

Apr 13 CHOP SUEY w/ MALE BONDING    Seattle, Washington

Apr 14 DOUG FIR LOUNGE w/ MALE BONDING    Portland, Oregon

Apr 15 BOTTOM OF THE HILL w/ MALE BONDING    San Francisco, California

Apr 18 COACHELLA    Indio, California

  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *