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Editors’ Notes

The SoCal quartet The Soft Pack deliver a third album of tight songs rooted in pop-punk, this time upgrading the formula of ultra-simple plus barbed hooks into something a little more dressed up. Where before there were only sharply pointed guitars and bull's-eye percussion buffeting Matt Lamkin’s easy, boyish vocals into something slightly less agreeable, the group now includes swashes of oddball synth tones, flowing organ notes, and ... saxophone. And it works! “Second Look” will go down in the “how to” books under “How to Rock with Saxophones”; the guitars gallop and race like a distant cousin of The Feelies, with a bellowing saxophone underlying (and underscoring) the song’s energy. From the first track, the propulsive “Saratoga,” you feel the band taking a leap forward, filling out its finely honed melodies with just enough meat to satisfy slightly larger appetites. There’s a shadow of ‘80s Aussie psych-rock in the vintage-flavored organs of “Tallboy” and in the swirling backward tape loop of guitar in “Ray’s Mistake.” The band takes a surprising (and delightful) stab at dance pop on “Bobby Brown,” while “Head on Ice” sounds like something from The Horrors. Dig in.

Customer Reviews

Another band gets bad advice

Once a very solid alt-pop band with a pretty unique sound, now The Soft Pack now sound like the million other lousy bands that fill the wasteland known as pop/alt/rock. It is very confounding to hear their previous album(which was really good) and switch to this totally banal, wimpy music. What a shame, hopefully they'll come to their senses or get a better record deal and realize their true potential.

More Adventurous!

The Soft Packs second album could not be more different than their first one. The guys have taken the shackles off and gone much more adventurous in terms of sound and vibe!! Bobby Brown is a definite positive from this change and soemhting you would never of expected but it works brilliantly! There are of course similiar songs to their first album but you get the feeling they just wanted to make a statement and do exactly what they wanted! Overall I think the album is massive grower and the more I hear it the better it gets!! Good stuff lads!!

Tremendous Record

Absolutely my favorite record of 2012 so far. Their first record was great but there is much more depth and sound to this one. It's definitely worth owning.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Playing smart but simple rock that harks back to ‘60s garage, ‘70s punk, and ‘80s college rock, the Soft Pack feature vocalist/guitarist Matt Lamkin, guitarist Matty McLoughlin, bassist Dave Lantzman, and drummer Brian Hill. The band formed in San Diego in 2008, when Lamkin and McLoughlin decided to fill the void of straightforward, catchy rock bands in their town. At first, they called themselves the Muslims, and even released two October 2008 singles, Parasites/Walking with Jesus on I Hate Rock...
Full Bio
Strapped, The Soft Pack
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Customer Ratings