I’ve got a soft spot for The Soft Moon. I accidentally saw then play live last May at Brighton’s Great Escape. I had intended to go and see Suuns and The Soft Moon were appropriately scheduled beforehand. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the band turned out to be my favourite ‘discovery’ of the weekend. They’ve kept quite a low profile over the summer and I was eager to hear more from them, therefore when I saw the opportunity arise to review their new EP, Total Decay, I naturally jumped at the chance.

The opening track, ‘Repetition’, does exactly what it say on the tin (or, in the title). The tone of the bass sounds reminiscent to early 1980’s goth and the simple New Order styled drum machine interlock together perfectly and loop to formulate a steady platform that allows the other electronic devices to have free rein with musical experimentalism. Despite the repetitious nature of, err, ‘Repetition’, the track still remains instrumentally exciting. I was completely caught off-guard by the introduction of some unexpected frantic percussion in the latter part of the piece, to complementary effect.

This sets a benchmark for the rest of the EP too follow from and the other tracks work objectively in the same vein. ‘Alive’ conjures up a post-punk influenced dark mist and haunting, atmospheric vocals are introduced to inflict a Suicide-esque feeling of fright upon the listener. The title track, ‘Total Decay’, is not as loosely structured as the former tracks. There are thick synths on top of a slower, minimal drum beat and the inclusion of vocals concoct a ‘verse’, but this is soon followed by swirling shoegazey noises that crescendo out of control until they are again harnessed and fade out.

‘Visions’ remains surprising throughout. It begins calmly with a dizzying windy sound and tribal drums played in a restrained fashion. Then out of nowhere a strange sound mimicking hairdresser’s clippers/low-pitched tattooist’s needle arrive strictly on the beat. As the piece progresses more levels of rhythm reinforce the music and others drop out, which reminds me of the darker side of industrial techno. Then it just stops. The end of the track, and the EP consequently, comes completely out of the blue to an abrupt and unexpected finale and leaves you wanting more.

I really enjoyed Total Decay. The Soft Moon fuse influence from krautrock, post-punk, goth, synthwave, industrial all under the umbrella of experimentalism to define their own sense of identity. It is dark and gloomy, yet extremely artistic abd well thought out. I’m excited to see more of them in the not too distant future.