While hungover from your Halloween sugar high, new music from The Soft Moon might provide the perfect fix to get you back up and running (perhaps from a serial killer in a hockey/William Shatner mask?). Luis Vasquez's synthesizer-based creepshow again provides the perfect soundtrack to an eighties slasher film on his band's second release, Zeros.
Feverish and borderline frenetic, Zeros enters into a Gothic electronic darkness alien to a generally chipper club scene. Though The Soft Moon's extraterrestrial gloom feels like it landed in the wrong decade with too grim (as in Reaper-level grim) a temperament to party, the album is still heavy, sexy, strangely dance-worthy material. Imagine Nine Inch Nails starting their industrial groove in the late seventies or Neon Indian going on a Dante-infected acid trip in a cemetery. Think “Undead Summer” instead of “Deadbeat Summer.”
All of the record's steely beats, buzzing keyboards, and torture chamber noise collages blend together into a hot haze. There is little to grasp onto by way of choruses or decipherable lyrics. Instead ghostly whispers, drones, calls, grunts, echoes, and panting stalk sonic corridors. This is hungrily hypnotic horror movie music that cares little for earworm-driven songwriting (as much as images of worms crawling into ears suit The Soft Moon's haunted dreamscapes).
Compared in the press to bands like Joy Division, Suicide, and Chrome, The Soft Moon employ black-and-white David Lynch-like visuals in their live performances courtesy of Ron Robinson. Even without optical aid, the band's sound is immersive and surreal enough to send the senses spinning. Symbolically opening Zeros with “It Ends” and closing the album with the track in reverse (placing the song “Remember the Future” in the dead center of the record), The Soft Moon pancake-flip the mind from beginning to end to beginning, dividing by “zero,” seemingly destroying the limits of time and space, if only for a freak instant.