The Soft Explosions - Ride Between the Eyes

The Soft Explosions
Ride Between the Eyes EP

It’s fair to say The Soft Explosions have been around for a bit. Back in 2002, brothers David and Nicky Kulund did the rounds in Boston with guitarist Irina Yalkowsky under the name of David James Motorcycle. Apparently, they got through nearly as many bass players as the Tap did drummers and, going by the fact that The Soft Explosions clearly have four members, yet (try as I might) I can only find names for three of them, I suspect not much has changed.

However, that’s not important. What is, is the tripped-out psychedelic rock that slams straight into your face when ‘Ride Between The Lines’ enters your world. It’s the musical equivalent of Scooby and the Gang’s Mystery Machine, pimped up and being used as the getaway vehicle by the bad guys, which, in this case, have to be a guilty-looking Primal Scream who’ve managed to bundle a long overdue decent tune into the back of the van and are making off down the highway. In other words, it’s all wah, delay, reverb and stomping beats topped off with a drawling vocal that drips attitude, albeit an innocent-sounding one (though I’m sure they’re not).

‘Desert’s Gold’ keeps up both the sound and the tempo, but this time holding back on some of the effects, allowing the songwriting more space to shine through. It even finds time for a relaxed tempo break and a few ‘la las’ before knocking it back up to fifth gear and driving like a harassed courier to the ending. Pumping, strutting stuff indeed.

‘Reverberate (Let It All Start)’ is probably the one track out of the four here that really screams of, well, Primal Scream. However, The Soft Explosions manage to squeeze in just a few tweaks just to make sure you aren’t totally convinced you’re listening to Bobby and the boys. ‘Keep All That’s Love’ then wraps things up with a slower, acoustically led, number that manages a sing-a-long chorus and some delicate guitar parts, before rocking itself up and rounding off the EP nicely.

However, looking over the CD and its accompanying 7′ vinyl (which would have near impossible to review given technological feats I would have had to perform just to get the old record player to work) I’ve noticed that despite its UK release date, this is actually a good two years old. In fact, a quick trip over to Myspace tells me The Soft Explosion have developed their sound further, tipping their hat to T-Rex and Bowie and generally embracing a bit of Glam into the mix. And they certainly sound that bit better for it.

Written by Habert on

Pete Habert was sub-editor for The Mag and co-ordinated submissions from the swarm of writers that contributed articles from their local music scenes.

Discover More Music