Quite an exceptional record, one that perhaps we would have liked Trent Reznor or Depeche Mode to make next. No need to wait though, there is a new ish kid on this block and his name is Luis Vasquez who, has made an incredibly powerful industrial rock album that has been released on the Sacred Bones label.
This record is special, it invades the brain from the first addictive beats of the first track, ‘Burn’ followed by the robotically powerful ‘Choke’. This gets followed with a eerily wonderful track, ‘Give Something’ .
Luis is actually Berlin based and this album has that great city stamped all over it. You would have expected it to have been made in Berlin at The Hansa Studios with, the Berlin Wall still in place. It’s a dark brooding record that encapsulates so many different sounds, that it leaves your head spinning.
‘Criminal’ is described as “a confessional work” which was inspired by a violent childhood for Luis growing up within the sprawl of 80’s Mojave Desert.
When speaking about the record, Luis said “Guilt is my biggest demon and has been following me since childhood. Everything I do strengthens the narrative that I am guilty”. “The concept of ‘Criminal’ is a desperate attempt to find relief by both confessing to my wrongdoings and by blaming others for their wrongdoings that have affected me.”
The Soft Moon's self-titled debut album was released in late 2010 by Captured Tracks. In 2012 a conceptual work, 'Zeros' emerged, shortly followed by Luis moving to Venice in 2013.
2014 saw the release of the album ‘Deeper’. Working once more with Maurizio Baggio, who produced ‘Deeper’, at La Distilleria in Bassano Del Grappa, Italy, ‘Criminal’ sees Luis putting his lyrics at the forefront of the songs and letting his raw burning emotions flow.
Lyric’s like on opener ‘Burn’
Can't can't control myself
I get the feeling it's the end
And it burns
I am the stranger living in my skin
On ‘Give Something’
You give something
When i give nothing
You're the reason why i melt away slow
I don't wanna lose my mind
That's why i keep you so close
The album is Luis' way of "holding himself accountable and seeking redemption for the abuse he inflicts on himself and acknowledges roots in the abuse which, inflicted upon him as a child, broke him".
The powerful emotions behind this record are laid bare for all to witness which, makes the album a true work of art, living and breathing though your speakers.
This is, an exceptional record.
UK Date: 16th Feb London - The Dome