Criminal, album number four by The Soft Moon – bleak, industrial post-punkisms from Luis Vasquez’s pretty-much-solo project.
A cursory glance at the track list - including “Burn” “Choke” “The Pain” & “It Kills” – reveals the link between the album title & the work’s thematic concern. Action/consequence/reasoning/guilt – a portrait of the artist as victim & proponent of criminality in its figurative sense.
If Vasquez’s previous work – 2014’s Deeper – served as an expression of the artist’s dysfunctional upbringing, Criminal deals with the direct effects on his later life & experience marred by his harrowing & violent childhood years. Both confessional & accusatory, the lyrics exhibit both a longing for freedom from the ever-tightening grasp of the guilty conscience & a defeated, hopeless retreat to self-destruction.
Not for the faint hearted, the record is an acknowledgement of cause & effect; it is nuanced, yet ultimately despondent. A fatalistic window into the void experienced – rightly or wrongly - by the guilty man.
Crime & Punishment indeed.
Limited edition clear vinyl on Sacred Bones.
3. Give Something
4. Like a Father
5. The Pain
6. It Kills
9. Born Into This
Released: February 2018
Cat: SBR192 / Sacred Bones