4 out of 10: soft pack hits fingerprints

February 1, 2010

originally posted here

To celebrate Tuesday release of its Kemado Records debut album, The Soft Pack, Long Beach-via-San Diego band The Soft Pack hopped in the F-Yeah Fest van Saturday planning to play ten shows in 14 hours. While a schedule such as that might be normal for an unsigned band at SXSW — last year, The Mae Shi played 16 shows in three days—it’s unheard-of in L.A., even for a PR gig. Filling in legitimate shows with plug-ins at house parties and in parking lots, The Soft Pack’s day was an adventure no underground music fan could pass up.

Stop four on The Soft Pack’s 10-show day found the well-dressed foursome playing Fingerprints’ first in-store concert of 2010. The independent record store in Long Beach, Calif., one of the last of its kind in the greater Los Angeles area, was a hometown stop for the uniquely Southern California garage band.

With a face-full of Fenders and button-up collared shirts, The Soft Pack might look like a West Coast Vampire Weekend, but after loading in late and ripping through five high-powered rock songs, the band proved its latest efforts are anything but prep-school chic.

With fuzz-free fender strumming and frenetic early-punk drumming on a 2-piece stand-up kit, The Soft Pack combine all the raw youth energy of old Los Angeles punk with the sophistication and cleanliness of early-surf rock songs. And while many bands watered down similar influences to make late 90s California punk, The Soft Pack broadcast it in its most pure and enjoyable form.

After working up a decent-sized sweat on the rickety Fingerprints stage, the band sprinted back into the van and shipped off to the next location, which was on the beach a few blocks away.

Several house parties and impromptu concerts with other local bands later, The Soft Pack completed its 10th show of the day after midnight at a hard-to-find gallery somewhere near where Silverlake meets Glendale. Fourteen hours after it started, the greatest record-promotion idea to hit Los Angeles’ underground in a long time came to an end.


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