By Sam Tornow, Editorial Director
[Exploding In Sound; 2016]
Key Tracks: “The Air,” “Back of a Horse,” “The Light”
It’s a common misconception, especially nowadays, that lo-fi music has a certain sincerity to it. Ironically, somewhere along the line, artists began taking advantage of this honesty creating nothing more than watered down versions of already mediocre songs. At the height of such an oversaturated movement, Soft Fangs proves why the stereotype came about in the first place. The Light is an album which conveys the openness of a kid playing their heart out, in a basement, for the sake of therapy.
The comeliness of this release blossoms from songwriter John Lutkevich’s ability to create songs that sound entirely his own, with minor hints of influence, rather than carbon copies of past sounds. The first sign of this talent is evident on the second track of the album, “The Air.” The track has grunge subtleties, but spins it in a way which feels entirely new. Rather than thinking “This sounds like Nirvana,” the listener will be thinking “This sounds like Soft Fangs.”
Diverging from much of the angst of the rest of the album, “Back of a Horse” takes a stripped down, almost child-like approach. Layering a glitchy beeping noise under a higher guitar tone, the combination feels simple and harmless.
Perhaps the album’s shining moment (excuse the pun) comes in the form of the final track, “The Light.” With a more audible vocal performance than anything else on the album, Lutkevich quietly murmurs about death, depression and voices in his head. Upon multiple listens, it becomes easier and easier to get caught up on different lines and their relatability.
While The Light may not be a genre-defining album, it’s an honest release, with the heart and earnestness most listeners yearn for.