[sic] Magazine

The Soft Moon – Total Decay EP

Nothing escapes the pull of a black hole and the dark draw of The Soft Moon is no different. Bay Area beat-maker Luis Vasquez launched his sinister signature with menacing post-punk and shoegaze inflections all run through an industrial mangle, yet his strong repeats also rendered his self-titled debut bewitchingly compelling.

The four tracks that comprise its follow-up, the Total Decay EP, retreat from any trace of commercial viability which that LP held, but the thundering and fast-paced bassline that rumbles from the get-go in “Repetition” is a welcome dose of post-punk familiarity – so too the cut’s rattling synth and wheezy instrumental industrionics.

That breakneck pace is slowed for the buzzfly-drone of the title track on which Vasquez’s mutilated and desolate vocal contributes to the apt sense of decay evoked as its synths unravel into a ghostly outro. There’s then a machine-like precision to the brooding post-punk beat of “Alive”, not to mention a distinctly Germanic vein of coldwave to its frosty delivery.

The off-world drum programming that bubbles through “Visions” is a curious addition that, along with a rarefied squelch made of electrical interference, sends the listen off into some hyper-dirty dance music classification. The track, and thus EP, closes abruptly, snapping you awake like exiting a cold-sweat nightmare – your screams fittingly ripped out by the chilly room’s dark, empty space.

Advised downloads: It’s only four tracks, go for the lot.

~Total Decay is out now on Captured Tracks .~

The Soft Moon @ myspace