The Soft Pack The Soft Pack on LP
Like all great stories, it begins with two friends. Matty McLoughlin played guitar obsessively, Matt Lamkin also played guitar but fancied himself as a singer/wordsmith too. Both Matt and Matty were frustrated music nuts who decided that they’d had enough of all the bands in their hometown of sunny San Diego dressing and sounding like chilly English new wave bands from the 1960s/70s/80s. “We wanted to start a band that played simple, catchy, smart rock songs,” says Matt. “There weren’t many bands in San Diego doing that at the time. So we did.”
Armed with conviction and a fraternal dedication, the band returned to their adopted home of Los Angeles in the summer of 2009 to write songs for their debut album. Working long days, they fashioned songs as a quartet. “Four equal parts making four equal contributions,” say Matt. They then decamped to New York to work with Eli Janney, once of 90s alternative behemoths Girls Against Boys but latterly an in-demand producer and mixer, at Saltland Studios.
Highlights on the debut include the perfect one-two punch of the first two singles, “Answer To Yourself” and the rallying call, “C’mon,” The Vaselines-inspired “Down On Loving” (“written in a day,” says Matty, proudly), live favorite “Parasites,” and a slew of songs written towards the end of the summer. Songs like “Tides Of Time,” “Flammable” and the hypnotic sway of "Mexico," the only song on the album where the pace drops from a sprint. This was the first song the band had ever written from a jam, as well as the first directly paying its respects to The King.
“Matt was listening to Elvis’ Blue Hawaii album when we wrote this,” recalls Brian. “That’s where that laid-back croon comes from.” But perhaps the most arresting song onboard The Soft Pack arrives when “Pull Out” loads. This is the song that young boys in bedrooms will play on repeat when dreaming of forming their own perfect punk-rock-garage-rock band. They wrote it while playing each other’s instruments (Matty on bass, Brian on guitar, Dave on drums). When Matt walked into the rehearsal space and heard the glorious noise his colleagues were making in a lop-sided fashion he started ad-libbing lyrics on top and hey presto! A pearl was crafted.
The Soft Pack The Soft Pack Track Listing:
2. Down On Loving
3. Answer To Yourself
4. Move Along
5. Pull Out
6. More Or Less
7. Tides Of Time
12. Eat Gold