Soft Copy: Vicious Modernism

Andrew on January 24, 2010

[singlepic id=761 w=320 h=240 float=left] “Sounding like a muscular cross between XTC at its most adventurous and Gang of Four at its most accessible, this Toronto band has a knack for making the daring sound user-friendly. ” John Sakamoto, Toronto Star

Soft Copy – Paul Boddum, Wes Hodgson and Andrew McAllister – are readying themselves to release the angrier and pointed Vicious Modernism (2010) out on CD and iTunes on January 30th, 2010. The band is converging with already canonized post-punk innovators Danger Bay, the unstoppable The Magic Cheezies and New York art- rockers Steve Shiffman & The Land of No for their release on January 30th at the Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West Toronto Canada).

In 2008, Ryan Bigge of Broken Pencil described Soft Copy as “[…] a swirling mix of power-pop that reminds me of my favourite bands from the 1990s (including Sugar and My Bloody Valentine) while still sounding fresh and contemporary.” NOW Magazine (NNN) described Soft Copy’s live performance of “steady rhythms and ego-free guitar solos, a welcome contrast […]” to the rock star stereotypes or posturing.

Vicious Modernism operates as an homage and requiem to recent rock history: the eleven track recording operates with brevity and clarity, echoing personal and political themes from Soft Copy’s 2006 release Wolf, wolves and more wolves including groupthink, the financial meltdown, being lost and young love. In 2007, Wes Hodgson (previously of Newfoundland punk-rock act Hung Up) swung the band’s tonality from Stooges to Shellac: this lent itself to ideally to sharp edges of Vicious Modernism (2010).

The lead track Hot Cakes describes our current culture of “failure entertainment”: like televised gladiatorial fashion shows, Soft Copy hints at the fiscal doomageddon that oft passed for spectator sport (and speculator sport) in spite of the real effects on the un- and underemployed. In other tracks, Extracurricular portrays an image of office romance at Fanny Mae, while the more optimistic First Date tries to recapture the idea of young love and blank slates.

Formed in 2005, Soft Copy’s ethos is embedded in the punk rock DIY aesthetic, with their music informed by early post-punk and later avant-rock. As Bigge describes “[…] they’re DIY to the core, having recorded and mixed the album themselves.” Vicious Modernism was recorded and engineered by Andrew McAllister with Soft Copy entirely at the Rehearsal Factory. McAllister learned his craft from Tom Heron & Jeff McMurrich (on Christiana’s Hydrofield of Myth) and Dave Newfeld (on NECK’s Uncrated Distant Star) and others, and has recorded or assisted with other Toronto bands including The Silt, Christiana and Republic of Safety.

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