The Soft Pack, Strapped
It's almost like they never left
You’d be forgiven for having forgotten about The Soft Pack in the two years since the band’s last platter of innocuous, enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll. But as the bouncy bass and plane-on-a-runway guitar lines of “Saratoga” kick off Strapped, things should start coming into focus. The Artists Formerly Known As Muslims fall into the thankless category of White Dudes Making Consistently Solid Indie Rock – the kind of guys who can sing, “If it’s time you’re looking for, I got that time and so much more,” and sound effortlessly cool. Indeed, privileged though they may be in certain respects, in a world of Next Big Things and Exotic Young Esoterics, it’s easy to gloss over what is, at the end of the day, just another damn good rock band. A rock band with swagger like The Strokes (“Bobby Brown”); horns like Morphine (“Oxford Ave.”), and the occasional psych-addled, fadeout jam like so many great, modern-day garage punks (“Captain Ace”)? It’s all coming back now, right? Almost like they never left.