The Soft Pack (3 stars)

The Soft Pack

‘This is by far our favourite city in the UK,’ says the Soft Pack’s guitarist Matty McLoughlin, and it’s a pleasure to hear. ‘We feel almost at home here. I hate London.’ Ouch. But then again, quite right. Although it does seem more likely that the San Diego quartet would find some sort of spiritual affinity with Manchester. After all, their chugging, reverb-heavy guitar sound is not a million miles from the Mancunian style of two decades past and more.

It must be noted that most of the group’s songs sound markedly similar, as if they’ve considered using a shoegazing wash of guitars, but haven’t quite gone all the way. So tracks like ‘Parasites’, ‘Right & Wrong’ and ‘C’Mon’ sit somewhere in between noise and tunefulness, a mesh of rockabilly and early Factory records occasionally filtered through the lens of garage rock, as during ‘On My Time’. Singer Matt Lamkin’s vocal is artfully sullen, and in the frenzied ‘Down On Loving’, they have one of the finest songs of the last few months – albeit one which was repeated under a different name more than once here.

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Tue 23 Feb

The Soft Pack and Black Balloons

The Soft Pack peddle a nice line in sharp, angular indie rock.

The Soft Pack, Banjo or Freakout, Tiny Little Robots and Brown Eye Superfly

The headliners changed their name from the potentially more contentious The Muslims.

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