Listen Up: Wednesday, September 3, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Clem Snide

Soft Spot (Spin Art Records)

By Matthew Smith

This New York-by-way-of-Boston bunch, named after a character in William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch, stirred a slight buzz with earlier releases — the band even supplied the theme song to tv’s Ed. The new c.d., Soft Spot, the outfit’s fourth effort, marks both a shrewd business move and, unfortunately, an artistic step down.

Things kick off promisingly enough. The first three tracks echo R.E.M.’s more sedate and melancholy leanings. Elsewhere, the horn-laden “Happy Birthday” and rockabilly-flavored “Action” show pulse, but only a little. The rest sounds like folksy alt-country with jazzy overtones. The downside, of course, is that several current bands do the roots thing much better. The final cut’s wrap-up — with tasty guitar riffs, backed by a choir — arrives with too little, too late.

The disc’s title alludes to guitarist Eef Barzelay’s newfound enchantment with his recent marriage and fatherhood. As such, the optimism becomes a tad weepy at times — the lyrics find Barzelay gushing over the beauties of nappies and smelling roses. Even the cover, a close-up of a rose, reeks of Hallmark card sentimentality.

In essence then, Soft Spot is an underground version of Dave Matthews/Hootie-styled objet d’art rock. This shift from the band’s earlier, more interesting sound is, perhaps, good business. The world teems with yarnheads who adore drab, syrupy music after all. (Somebody bought all those damn Creed records.)


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions