Reviews

The Soft Moon
Criminal

(Sacred Bones)

6/10

On his fourth LP, California’s The Soft Moon (musician and producer Luis Vasquez) mines a more lateral vein of industrial rock than 2015’s neo-darkwave ‘Deeper’. ‘I wish I could be somebody else,’ strains Vasquez on ‘Burn’, flipping Trent Reznor’s animalistic libido inward, to the same hyperviolent EBM pulse. What is industrial rock without a tall glass of the dark stuff? ‘Criminal’ finds Vasquez plumbing the depths of his self-hatred, which isn’t always as pleasant as it sounds.

It’s hard not to think of a B-grade Jesse Lacey when Vasquez sings, ‘how can you love someone like me?’ on ‘The Pain’, or when he meditates on his frisson with addiction on ‘Choke’. “Waste me / kill me now,” he sings on the title track, and it surprises nobody. This isn’t to say that ‘Criminal’ lacks shock value – a wayward bongo appears at one point. Still, with acts like Sacred Bones label mate Pharmakon still whipping industrial music into ever-obscene forms, it’s hard to know where groups like The Soft Moon stand.

Help keep Loud And Quiet going

As an independent title, it’s become harder than ever to make the numbers add up.

We never want to charge artists and labels for our content so are asking our readers and listeners if they can help.

If you enjoy L&Q, please consider signing up to one of our membership plans to receive our magazines, playlists, podcasts, full site access, record discounts and more. Pay per month to try it out and see how you feel.