Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Soft Moon, live @ Gagarin 205 (Athens, April 05, 2013)

And out of a thick fog of dry ice came The Soft Moon... Luis Vasquez with his band made his live debut in Athens in an almost packed Gagarin 205 club to present us the two Soft Moon albums which have become underground hits in Greece despite the fact that they were never officially released here. Another proof of the power of the internet and the insignificance of physical record sales.

For almost an hour, the San Francisco trio evoked the darkest spirits of late '70s - early '80s post-punk with some of the finest songs to be found in "The Soft Moon" and "Zeroes", the two albums that songwriter Louis Vasquez has written and recorded by himself. Aided by bassist Justin Anastasi and drummer Keven Tecon, Vasquez is able to give his songs a gripping live presentation, where the classic guitar-bass-drums rock trinity mixes well with synth and electronic music elements.

Vasquez on guitar, synthesizer and percussion gives an energized performance, while his yelps (more frequent than his actual singing) bring to mind Suicide's Alan Vega. The music uses repetition to build up the tension, while the metronomic rhythms and muscular bass lines create a spiraling groove, driving the songs in a seemingly never-ending cycle. A few of the less strong compositions may veer towards the monotonous, but the overall effect is powerful and hypnotizing. The light of The Soft Moon shines brightly through post-punk's darkest shadows.

Here's "We Are We", one of the highlights of The Soft Moon's performance at Gagarin 205:

The Soft Moon - We Are We (live @ Gagarin 205, Athens, April 5, 2013)

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