Soft Wounds are supple echoes of albums I’ve heard before. Pop tones collect on these nine self-titled album tracks, shuffling through avenues we’ve all journeyed down before, then jumping up and down in different ways, creating novel formations. With all the looking back on shoegaze that’s occurred in recent years, it’s no surprise that things might change and stay the same.
In the world of infinite universes, there’s a duplex shared between Springsteen and the Stone Roses. That imaginary house is called Soft Wounds. The pieces of the puzzle are fairly maximalist — things drift on, never shorter than the four minute mark. Clouds of guitar and reverb-drenched drums articulate around themes, crunching lyrics somewhere along the way. The dreamscape is all for Soft Wounds.
Some things worth remembering: the snow drift of sound on “You Can’t Stay Here,” including vocals that play like wind chimes kicking a door in; the ever-cruising “Baby Blue” and Charlie Berger’s drifting cry that could amplify a forest; the temptress that is “See the Sun,” replete with time-strapped guitar lines and machine gunnery riffs. The past/future looks pretty good!
What you get with Soft Wounds is pretty straightforward: the voices of the past shouting five minutes ahead of schedule, playing tiddlywinks with leitmotivs, refusing to settle down. Well done.
Top Track: “You Can’t Stay Here”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)