Available on: Heavenly LP

Borrowing their name from a brand of flaccid dildo – found late one night by drummer Brian as he scoured the net for drumsticks (probably) – The Soft Pack could never be accused of pretending to be high brow. Formally known as the Muslims, their first album as The Soft Pack is an energetic dialogue with their musical past, described by guitarist Matty as, “exciting rock ‘n’ roll music that [makes] sense to everyone.” You’d be hard pushed to disagree.

Charging from The Ramones through to The Fall, as though hurrying to get back to writing the next record, there is a noticeable lack of new ground being covered. But then, new ground can be problematic, and with the frenetic groove of ‘Move Along’ compelling you to stop thinking and just dance, you’re unlikely to notice until it’s too late. Some of the Soft Pack’s best moments occur when the tempo drops; notably on the sleepy ballad ‘Mexico’ that slumps along, nonchalantly draped in wildly bent guitar solos, reminiscent of a young Graham Coxon. But the melody most likely to crop up as you sit in the bath is undoubtedly that of ‘Down on Loving’.

The whole thing lasts just 30 minutes – much like an episode of Eastenders – whipping you into a frenzy of catchy melodies and youthful exuberance, before ending, and – again much like an episode of Eastenders – leaving you with an appetite for more.

Richard Attley

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