Profound Lore Records announces the November 4th release of Choke, the new album by Soft Kill.
A departure from the sounds that have come to define Profound Lore – avant metal bands like Portal, Krallice, Leviathan, Pallbearer, and Subrosa – Soft Kill is one of the most outstanding new post-punk bands of today, dealing in a vibe Stereogum has called "romantic, classic-sounding" and Cvlt Nation names "Cure-like ambiance."
Stream "Wake Up," from new album Choke, here via Clrvynt:
Mixed by Uniform guitarist Ben Greenberg, whose recent production credits include recordings by Sacred Bones Records bands like Destruction Unit, Choke puts forth a perfectly crafted, early '80s sound, melancholy yet wired. Minimal guitar hooks and the haunted vocals of frontman Tobias V.H. set a lush, saturnine scene, as bone-shaking drums drive forward insistently toward the edge of something. Soft Kill sets this tension and lets it ride, conjuring emotion by way of repetition rather than peaks and valleys. Casual listeners might hear hints of early The Cure, early U2, and Joy Division. Fans more clued in to the genre will pick up on influences like The Chameleons, The Sound, and Lowlife – the song "On the Inside" features guest vocals by none other than The Chameleons' Mark Burgess, of which V.H. says, "having one of our main influences take part in the album was pretty life-changing."
Soft Kill was founded in 2010 in San Diego, California by Tobias V.H., then a member of acclaimed post-punkers Blessure Grave and going by the name Toby Grave. The band released the acclaimed An Open Door album then promptly vanished in 2011 due to drug addiction and prison time. V.H. gives this statement:
"When I turned 20 I tried heroin for the first time and immediately felt relief from the paranoia and depression that had haunted me. From that point onward I had many long battles with heroin, crack, crystal meth, pills, and even PCP. I did whatever I had to do to get high – lots of commercial burglaries, armed robbery, and selling drugs. For two years I didn't pay for anything but gas and even had a long bout homeless on the streets. I was hanging out with absolute psychopaths. I got arrested and was asked to incriminate everybody. I kept my mouth shut, bailed out and ran but got caught months later, strung out, in another state. I was locked up again and again and finally got released from jail for the final time in 2012. I've been in recovery ever since. We didn't get started up again as a band for so long because I needed to work through my guilt for what I had unleashed on the world and try to pay some of my debt by whatever means necessary."
Soft Kill resurfaced in 2015 in Portland, Oregon with a new lineup, including veteran drummer Maxamillion Avila, known as a member of doom band Atriarch and an ex-member of screamo godfathers Antioch Arrow, freak-grind supergroup Holy Molar, and electro-punks Chromatics. 2015 saw the new, revived Soft Kill tour with The Chameleons and release the Heresy LP. One year later the band follows up with the masterful Choke and a slew of upcoming tourdates – a bright spot on a long, detoured path.
Choke was engineered by Jason Powers (Grails, The Mountain Goats) at Burnside Recording in Portland, mixed by Ben Greenberg, and mastered by Blake Bickel (King Dude, He Whose Ox Is Gored).
The cover art was created by Danish collage artist øjeRum.
The tracklist is as follows:
3) Wake Up
4) On the Inside (featuring Mark Burgess of The Chameleons)
6) I'm Beside You
8) Feel of the Knife
Soft Kill, on tour:
Oct 21 - Portland, OR @ Secret Society
Dec 2 - Sacramento, CA @ Red Museum
Dec 3 - Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull
Dec 4 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
Dec 5 - Tempe, AZ @ 51 West
Dec 6 - El Paso, TX @ Monarch
Dec 8 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's
Dec 9 - Dallas, TX @ Double Wide
Dec 11 - Denver, CO @ Bar Bar
Dec 12 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
Dec 14 - Portland, OR @ High Water Mark
Tobias V.H. - vocals, guitar
Conrad Vollmer - guitar
Owen Glendower - synth
Eric Phipps - bass
Maxamillion Avila - drums
Photo by Sam Gehrke