RoosterCow Records

Whatever Happened to Soft Targets

Soft Targets

Whatever Happended to Soft Targets

RC010 EP CD [2010]

Chicago's Soft Targets delivered an "icy-cool postpunk sound halfway between the Only Ones and Joy Division" (Sharp Darts, Chicago Reader) on this five song CD EP. A split release with Backward Masking label and recorded at Electrical Studios with engineer Kris Poulin. All's I can say is: buy it!

Track Listing:

Clearing the Brush (on Brokeback Mountain)
Black Radiance
I'm Sold

More Soft Targets releases:

(Let it) Ricochet b/w Straight Line 7
We Hate You Soft Targets
Soft Targets Must Be Destroyed
Don't Put Out
Above the Arctic Circle
Soft Targets/Mediums split 7"
The Rise and Fall of Soft Targets
The Night After Day After Day Digital Mini LP
Ghosted Digital EP

Soft Targets website:

Soft Targets



Soft Targets Electrical Audio

Soft Targets Electrical Audio Kris Poulin

Soft Targets Electrical Audio Tim Davison

Soft Targets Electrical Audio

Soft Targets Electrical Audio

The post-punk Chicago unit—which borrows gracefully from indie-rock royalty like Dinosaur Jr. and Built to Spill—aim high with Whatever Happened to Soft Targets? the group's new EP. Opener "Returning" shoegazes its way through under-mixed vocals and a nice delayed guitar lead, all backed by a fuzzy, distorted guitar progression. "Clearing the Brush (on Brokeback Mountain)"--if you can get past the title—works as a countrified instrumental, jangly and moving-down-the-trail in an assured way. "Crushed" is pure pop, reggae-ish in its guitar parts, and a rock song that could actually benefit from a horn section, if the band had the resources. The next track, "Black Radiance," is bona fide early nineties rock, minor chords and distortion, world-crushing depression and angst. While the band mixes genres a bit and could probably use a different distortion pedal, there's something very endearing about the closer "I'm Sold," my favorite of the group, should be able to sell you with the lyric "Same shit, different day."—Tom Lynch

On the new EP Whatever Happened to Soft Targets?, this four-piece just about nails an icy-cool postpunk sound halfway between the Only Ones and Joy Division. The guitars jump from overdriven chugging to expansive, echoing chords, the drums are trebly and brittle with slapback reverb, and vocalist Chris Auman sings with world-weary aloofness—when he hits the occasional wrong note, it just sounds like he can't see the point of trying any harder. But while icy-cool postpunk leans pretty hard on a specific production style, it also needs songs, and these guys don't have them. Whatever Happened starts promisingly with the shoegazery "Returning," which features some great drum bashing from Dave Potter and a simple, catchy vocal melody. After that, though, things go wrong and stay that way. It's bold to make an instrumental the second track on your CD, but the instrumental in question, "Clearing the Brush (on Brokeback Mountain)," is saddled not only with a terrible name but with a go-nowhere chord progression that sucks away any excitement still lingering in the air after "Returning." The faux-reggae "Crushed" doesn't do much to redeem the disc (or the idea of unfunky punks trying to get even a little bit irie), and the last two songs are a forgettable blur of awkward structures and half-assed melodies. The Soft Targets may be shooting for inspired ennui, but by the end it comes off more like plain old boredom.—Miles Raymer


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