The Soft Pack

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by John Anderson

The Soft Pack

Stubb's, Thursday, March 18

When the Muslims played South by Southwest a few years ago, you could tell they had definite pop chops under their sloppy surf rock. One wise name change later, San Diego-bred, L.A.-based quartet the Soft Pack have excised the fat and made the lean parts work. Their debut self-titled Kemado LP works with the Ramones' logic of the pop song: verse, chorus, verse; make sure to get the hook in their heads; and have fun with it. With three-fourths of the band in collared shirts, they came off like a cool frat, the kind holding fundraisers for environmental causes but one that also has cool house parties. The songs come off like that too, singer/guitarist Matt Lamkin earnestly declaring that we should apply ourselves while simultaneously mainlining the pop sugar of more world-weary songs like "Answer to Yourself," "Down on Loving," and "Pull Out." The live show amplified the punk aspect of their songs, but they kept it concise: Even longer "jammer" "Parasite" had some bob and weave to it. As long as they keep a balance between fun and structure, they're on the way to something good.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters/ for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

READ MORE
More The Soft Pack
SXSW Records
The Soft Pack
The Soft Pack (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 19, 2010

More Music Reviews
Summer Jams Clearance Sale
The Reputations
Begging for More (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Aug. 11, 2017

Summer Jams Clearance Sale
The Traveling Ones
Meet Me There (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, Aug. 11, 2017

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

The Soft Pack

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)