Armed with this conviction and a fraternal dedication, the band returned to their adopted home of Los Angeles in the summer of 2009 to write songs for their debut album. Working long days, they fashioned songs as a quartet. “Four equal parts making four equal contributions,” say Matt. They then decamped to New York to work with Eli Janney, once of 90s alternative behemoths Girls Against Boys but latterly an in-demand producer and mixer, at Saltland Studios. Work was swift thanks to the ground-work laid in LA and Janney’s intuitive understanding of what the band were after: the classic 30 minute debut album.
Highlights include the perfect one-two punch of the first two singles, “Answer To Yourself” and the rallying call, “C’mon,” The Vaselines-inspired “Down On Loving” (“written in a day,” says Matty, proudly), live favourite “Parasites,” and a slew of songs written towards the end of the summer. Songs like “Tides Of Time,” “Flammable” and the hypnotic sway of Mexico, the only song on the album where the pace drops from a sprint. This was the first song the band had ever written from a jam, as well as the first directly paying its respects to The King. “Matt was listening to Elvis’ Blue Hawaii album when we wrote this,” recalls Brian. “That’s where that laid-back croon comes from.” But perhaps the most arresting song onboard The Soft Pack arrives when “Pull Out” loads. This is the song that young boys in bedrooms will play on repeat when dreaming of forming their own perfect punk-rock-garage-rock band. They wrote it while playing each other’s instruments (Matty on bass, Brian on guitar, Dave on drums). When Matt walked into the rehearsal space and heard the glorious noise his colleagues were making in a lop-sided fashion he started ad-libbing lyrics on top and hey presto! A pearl was crafted.
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