Monday, February 15, 2010

Soft Pack This, Soft Pack That

Photos by Karp
Where haven't you seen or heard about The Soft Pack (formerly known as The Muslims) these days? Be it their infamous "ten shows in one day" concert, their performance on Letterman (video after the jump), their newest self-titled release on Kemado, or perhaps their free live show at the Cake Shop last Friday; if you have ears, you've heard the name. We at Stark have big ears (sometimes mouths) and have been thoroughly saturated with Softness.

Last Friday, we at Stark made the decision to drink to get drunk; our evening plans were laid before us effortlessly and almost a week in advance. We were going to see the Soft Pack, we were going to get drunk and we were going to have fun. Our pre-conceived notions of Soft Packiness were influenced mainly by a CMJ set and their self-titled vinyl released under The Muslims moniker. The album came equipped with 9MM bullet holes in the front, and the sound ripped through our speakers, smacking us in the face with snark upon first listen. We were hooked.

More photos, show review and Soft Pack's Letterman performance after the jump.

On Friday evening, after fighting through a seemingly impenetrable throng of people more reminiscent of a dreaded morning subway commute than a concert, we reached our haven -- the dimly lit, and for a brief moment, cool, basement of the Cake Shop. Soon enough, our preconceived notions were met by the raw emotion and snotty sound that was and is now The Soft Pack.

We should have known what we were getting ourselves into when we signed on to attend a midnight, FREE show. In the sea of green Rolling Rock cans, we made our way to the front of the Cake Shop crowd in hopes of maybe getting elbowed in the face, our asses grabbed, or at least a shirt tug. None of the latter occurred however (to our dismay) during their set.

Occupied evenly by both new and old material, it was clear that the 'Pack were comfortable in such a stripped down setting. They had the energy of a high school punk band playing in the garage of their parent's house. Ripping through a set that recalled early Strokes, and donning wardrobe expected more from Vampire Weekend (blue Oxford button-downs) The Soft Pack shredded classics such as "Red Rum" which was lightning fast, and newer tunes like "Pull Out" and the single "Answer to Yourself". As fellow Stark editor, Matt, stated, "Ezra Koenig eat your heart out" and "this sounds like when the Kings of Leon were a good band." Well, hearts were eaten, and we were pleased by watching a band live up to expectation.

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