The Soft Moon, the musical evil genius of Bay area based musician Luis Vasquez (and performing as a trio plus visuals for live shows) released their Total Decay EP on October 31, 2011. Out on Captured Tracks and available for streaming on Spin.com, this handful of “post-apocalyptic” songs was all too fitting for the Halloween holiday. These are the kind of songs that go bump in the night!
The EP starts off with “Repetition,” a strong buildup of up-tempo drums, worthy of any movie chase scene in my opinion, and dark synths riddled with a plethora of creepy and odd sound effects (kazoos, saws, lasers, oh my!). Primal screams echo in-and-out and you may find yourself looking over your shoulder and checking under the bed. Then “Alive” storms in with big beat percussion and metallic synths, regurgitating you out of a haunting and harsh musical soundscape. A booming underlying bass thumps through out. Brief, repetitive whispered vocals and strained howls creep in the latter half of the song and the slow fade out is achingly appropriate. This is one of those hypnotic songs that seems like it would easily spur those famed Ian Curtis spazmatic-like shuffles out of a crowd at one of their shows or on any goth-industrial night dance floor.
Title track “Total Decay” is an immediate plunge into a dark well of strange sonic depths. A submerged deep bass groove and synths that slice the air one minute, and fuzz out the next — simply sends shivers down my spine. The black and white, strobe-like flash and spazziness of the video perfectly matches the tone and vibe of the song. After several listens I’m still not sure what the fuck just hit me. The EP ends with the tribal, time-traveling spooked out space odyssey “Visions.” I swear I can almost see the sound waves bouncing off the walls in slow motion.
Overall, this EP proves to be a mind-provoking experience and it puts your aural reflexes to the test, less than enchanting but certainly mesmerizing. Also short but cohesive, Total Decay turns out to be a perfect sized dose of dark trolling goth/post-punk songs to momentarily lose yourself in, that is with the lights on of course.
Words: Emily Saex
To stream The Soft Moon’s Total Decay click here.