Soft Fangs, much in the same manner as Zeal and Ardor is only a band in aural terms. This is a one man project by John Lutkevich, who described Soft Fangs as ‘just a name for the music I make’ in an interview with Independent Music News in 2016. This is the second full length release from the Brooklyn based singer songwriter and was apparently written across a year and then recorded in just three days.
There is not a huge amount of variation present within this record and you will know from the opener Elephant Girl whether this is for you. It opens with a delicate acoustic riff that is soon flooded with overdriven guitars and snare lead drum pattern and Lutkevich then lays his soft melodic over this canvas. This is a very laid back and relaxed album but at the same time the production values are rough and unpolished with that rasping over-driven driven guitar guiding most of the songs.
The melodies and feel of this album are very reminiscent of the second, more soft disc of the In Your Honor double LP released by Foo Fighters in 2006. They both have the feel of Jack Johnson-esque laid back acoustic numbers but played by rock musicians. The difference is, though, is that where In Your Honor centers around choruses (as you’d expect from Dave Grohl), these songs roll on with much less focus and more fluidity. This is a great album to put on in the background of a summers day.
The very loose and fluid nature of this album makes it difficult to pick out individual songs as highlights and this is perhaps it’s downfall. Having listened to it 5 or 6 times I am unable to pick out anything particular as a stand out moment. There is nothing inherently bad about this record, it’s perfectly fine, but there is nothing that hooks me in either. As I said, this is great background music, but it lacks staying power beyond that.