Soft Science – Paris/Sooner Review

From Northern California, Soft Science’s press release describes them – you can only imagine euphemistically – as “Molecular gastronomists”, when really it would’ve simpler and more accurate to depict them as time travellers, a foursome who have teleported straight into this crazy messed up world direct from 1990.

They over elaborate on this by labelling Sooner/Paris as a double A-Side, but even allowing for the fact that its a format likely to bring little more than shrugs from a previously near-oblivious public, the four tracks that make up whatever this thing is are each a self contained homage to the tricksy behemoth known indie in the period between C-86 and shoegaze.

Ready? Taken from their forthcoming album Maps the title track is strung from the quintessential funk-less jangles made almost household business by the Mock Turtles’ Can You Dig It, all wah wah and sugar-spun vocals, whilst the b-side/next tune Undone is a cover of Northern Picture Libraries (Nope – me either) 1994 release, toughening up the riffs and reverb until the whole thing sounds like Songs From A Dead Star-era Lush.

By that point the kid’s carefree post acid house trip had gone from snakebite and snogging to something much more introverted, but I Don’t Know Why I Love You is like the 303 never happened, straight ahead fuzz pop, whilst as a finale Paris is Loomer-era MBV without the fuck-it let’s just hit any button mixdown aesthetic.

It’s pointless asking why a group of Americans want to create the sound of thirty-year-old Polytechnic discos, such is the devotion with which this period is being re-examined – or exhumed if you prefer. Gastro come agains they aren’t, but if you want someone to do a great cover version of an entire movement, they’re your guys.

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