Don’t miss Soft Cement’s show TONIGHT, Wed Mar 11 at Charm City Art Space. Kids in Soft Cement are injured. No show for them!
You hear it in the shimmering din of the opening notes, and through the rest of this Baltimore duo’s debut 4 track EP, Think About It.
Soft Cement firmly declares its manifesto of insistent and precisely sculpted noise punk, soundtracking pensive and politically charged vocals. Atop the crests of clockwork percussive swells by drummer Geoff Wilt, guitarist/vocalist Justin Blemly lays down jagged, roughly-hewn guitar lines that paint each song’s soundscape with broad splatters of aural textures. Chords mostly dwell on dissonance, dipping only occassionally in and out of stable, major-key melody, a sign of the tense, uneasy worldviews laid out in every song. ”Bad men with worse intentions//Manufacture my perception//All guise and misdirection//Don’t want to think about it” declares Blemly on the title track, the steady tempo and flatly-delivered lyrics inviting you to truly “Think About It.”
The guitar line on “Gainer” growls, spits, sprays and sputters, ranging from big fuzzed-out chords to staccato blasts like a gun going full-auto, approrpiately mirroring the seesaw between resilience and frustrated resignation in the lyrics: “I want to see it through//But everything’s askew//I’m trying, what can I do//I’m gonna come unglued.” The galloping track “Green Zone” brims with the urgency of iconic punk songs which are echoed in the song’s firmly anti-Iraq war (and more broadly, anti-imperialist) sentiments.
“Wet Concrete” is arguably the most versatile track on the EP, and ironically has the most succinct lyrics. Soft Cement again deploy the repetition of classic punk, but focus it like a laser, looping and churning themselves into a frothy maelstrom as the music cycles, accelerating and intensifying each time with more deliberate pace and momentum. As the music reaches its crest, the track abruptly implodes the album, and itself, to a close. Blemly and Wilt finish the EP with a great showcase of their goal and approach, which has been laid out in the previous 3 tracks: crafting songs filled with equal parts reflective lyrical intensity and precise sonic textures, fully saturated with a genuine and heartfelt punk ethos. Intelligent, measured and articulate agitation and unrest.
Soft Cement step up to the plate as a new, locally-grown entity churning out music that yearns to say something in more ways than one, stuff that resonates as much in your brains as in your gut, maybe once in a while your heart and probably growing your balls. In a town that seems to see more feel good, care-free party music emerge everyday, more frequently becoming the first-seen face of Baltimore’s music community, it’s great to lay ears on this EP. Sobering and sagacious in its views and grounding in its music, it reminds us that after the party, and even in the daylight of “hope” and “change”, there’s still much to be done.
Bonus–Sweet album artwork by Nolen Strals, lead singer for fellow (sm)art-punks Double Dagger, local and spiritual kin of Soft Cement!
Release Date: Jan 17 2009
- Think About It
- Green Zone
- Wet Concrete
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