THE SOFT PACK are back with Strapped, which will be released October 1st 2012 o Mexican Summer. It’s an adventurous album that finds the Los Angeles-based foursome breaking with expectations and exploring the possibilities of how they can push their sound. In making it, the group took to heart a quote from the sage Pasadena thinker David Lee Roth that goes something like: “The first rule of rock & roll is if it sounds good, it is good.”
The Soft Pack’s history begins in 2007 when Matt Lamkin (guitar/lead vocals) and Matty McLoughlin (lead guitar) started a band in their native San Diego. By the following year they’d added David Lantzman (bass) and Brian Hill (drums). The four of them soon moved up to LA, went on a bunch of tours, and coalesced into The Soft Pack.
Following the two and a half straight years of touring that came both before and after 2010’s self-titled release on Heavenly Recordings (Kemado Records in the US), the band were burnt out but determined to take control of their future. They decided to self-produce their follow-up, which will be released by Kemado’s sister label Mexican Summer. During the previous sessions for their self-titled album they developed 12 songs and recorded all of them – 10 of them made it to the album, the other two became B-sides. In contrast, while making Strapped they created 80 demo ideas, recorded 30 full songs, and then picked their 12 favourite ones for the album, no matter how far out they were.
The group also took their time while making Strapped, making it over the course of two years. This pace allowed them to integrate new ideas and approaches into their existing sound. The Soft Pack’s pop rock foundations are undeniably still present – nine of the songs don’t break three minutes and from the first seconds of glorious
album opener “Saratoga” it’s obvious they haven’t abandoned the fuzz. That said, they’ve also spent a lot of time listening to Denim, Momus, The Church, YAZ, Grace Jones, INXS, Carole King, Lee Hazelwood, The Byrds, and Elton John. “Bobby Brown” is an icy new wave number, whose saxophone solo is just one of several horn appearances on Strapped. For “Head on Ice,” they layer on the dark atmospherics and capture a spiraling sense of doom. Maybe the most surprising cut on Strapped is album closer “Captain Ace,” a jubilant space cruiser that jams out to nearly the seven- minute mark…. Enjoy the ride!
Strapped is released 1st October 2012 on Mexican Summer.. Click below to check out lead track ‘Saratoga’ on YouTube: