soft-moon

This third Soft Moon album is designed to reflect the profound inner torment of its writer, Luis Vasquez, partly in response to his band’s rising fortunes. Recorded in Venice at the aptly named Hate Studios, as a self-loathing mission statement, it’s up there with The Cure’s ‘Pornography’.

Unfortunately, ‘Deeper’ is armed with petulant, monosyllabic song-titles, like ‘Inward’ and ‘Black’. Its stark lyrics are almost clichéd in their quest for darkness, like disaffected tweets into the ether; “the end is on my mind” runs the refrain of ‘Try’; “I feel so empty inside, why am I alive?” wonders ‘Feel’. Even less fortunately, Vasquez has claimed that on this album he has “finally felt the urge to express [himself] more verbally.” Eesh.

He seems to take his only joy in cribbing from the playbooks of post-punk masters; the title track reaps PiL’s ‘The Flowers of Romance’, while the lazer-gun synths and skittering percussion of ‘Wrong’ would pass for a decent Throbbing Gristle album track. Its best moments – particularly the eerie, industrial horror-pop of closing track ‘Being’ – recall criminally-overlooked Saddle Creek blank-wavers The Faint.

As a purgative exercise for its maker, ‘Deeper’ was clearly a necessary creative step. As a listening experience, Vasquez’s influences, like the cries for help from his tortured heart, are too transparently on show to take seriously.

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