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Soft Targets Don't Put Out

don't put out
RC013 CD [2009]

Contrary to popular legend, the title of Soft Target's third album has nothing to do with the Soft Targets demanding that RoosterCow's Dick Cockman not release the record. Naw, but it's got everything to do with the movie, The Fabulous Stains. Having jumped the sophomore slump and gotten over on the hump, Soft Targets return with their third full-length for RoosterCow. Some short punk rock blasts co-exist with some stretched out grooves in typical Softie fashion. This may be their best effort to date. Recorded by Poulin @ Armitage Shanks in Logan Square, Chicago.

 

Track Listing:

Figure It Out
When the Apocalypse Comes
I Don’t Act Right
Some Days
Public World
Runaround
Idiot Clause
Frustration
Western Civ.
Big Cats

More Soft Targets releases:

(Let it) Ricochet b/w Straight Line 7"
Whatever Happened to Soft Targets EP

We Hate You Soft Targets
Soft Targets Must Be Destroyed
Above the Arctic Circle
Soft Targets/Mediums split 7"
The Rise and Fall of Soft Targets

Soft Targets website:

Soft Targets

Press

Photos:

Don't Put Out album back cover

Don't Put Out album insert

Don't Put Out album insert

AMERICANA UK

Soft Targets lay out their stall with the first blast of a track: 'Figure It Out'; as juicy a slice of garage punk as you could ask for, heavy opening riffs, drum bashing and a I don't care what you you're saying but I'm confident you'll get the point in the end vocal. Come, on, I'm listening. We all know what's going on, how about you? Capped with a kiss-off that smacks so much of early Roxy Music that you can almost hear Brian Ferry warbling something perverse and impenetrable over the top of it.

To follow this with 'When the Apocalypse Comes' is a tragedy. It's like a poor TV parody of a punk band with nothin' to say and nihilism on their mind. Using the title phrase as the chorus makes this just unbearable. Fortunately the third cut, 'I Don't Act Right", comes along strutting in Lou Reed's leathers, a seedy bass heavy attempt at self justification - sleazes Chris Auman : "I know I ain't perfect and I'm not real fine (is it a crime ?) No".

'Some Days' is garage again, a drone heavy melodic garage, and is catchy, catchy, catchy, with an extended heavy guitar solo at the end which distances the song from any punk pretensions. And 'Public World' keeps the Soft Targets mining the same seam, with, get this, gentle guitar work over pounding drums, conjuring up a confused hazy state over which Auman can croon "I want something to do, I want something to do" - ennui seasoned with detachment.

'Runaround' and 'Idiot Clause' are all new wavy punk, the first stealing a basic rock 'n' roll riff and attitude, the second wanders around the same ground, and if it weren't for the drum patterns half way through would be forgettable. I get the feeling that the Soft Targets have a great affection for late '70's punk, but their attempts at it are their weakest moments. 'Frustration' (originally by The Mystic Tide) shows them playing to their strengths again, a proto-punk song wrapped up in a '60s garage band mentality, it's all there, down to the chanted backing vocals.

Soft Targets stray into the political realm to an apocalyptic fuzz drone - the decline, 'Western Civ' claims, of the west is not the fault of hipster nations, and it's not worth trading for all the snow in Scandinavia. The oil in Arabia ? Well, that's a different matter.

The album closer - and presumably the final encore of their live performances - is 'Big Cats', a perfect danceable blend of the B52's and Blondie, art school punk with Auman dueting with Tina Finch whose shiny happy vocal bounces around like a perky Claire Grogan.

Good trick, open and close with the two best songs on the album.

—AMERICANA UK