Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (Album – Possession Records)

By Mar 2,2020

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Genre/Influences: EBM, experimental.

Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl.

Background/Info: Jack Duckworth (JJD) is born in Canada, but has been residing in Glasgow (Scotland) for a few years. He set up his own label, Possession Records, and now unleashed the seventh album of his project.

Content: I honestly haven’t been that much impressed with the previous works of this artist. This new work has been announced as an evolution in production and sound. I indeed discovered a somewhat different creating a gap with the previous electro-pop inspired work. This opus is driven by minimalism and a rather experimental format of EBM. The retro touch of Soft Riot is still recognizable and reminds me now and then to The Human League, but I especially noticed a kind of experimental EBM approach. The experimental touch is created by a sort of sound chaos, Soft Riot avoids to elaborate explicit melody lines.

+ + + : There clearly is an evolution in sound, which I’ve to admit is not easy to seize. The songs are driven by a kind of sonic chaos where JJD reveals himself as a kind of imaginary sound scientist. This music could have been composed in a sonic laboratory instead of a studio. So it’s not that of coincidence one of my favorite cuts is the more cohesive “By The Skin Of Your Teeth”, which evokes to me the legendary “Brothers”-hit from DAF. Another noticeable song is “Your Work Is Never Done”, which also has something ‘classical’-like.

– – – : I’m still not a huge fan of Jack Duckworth’s vocal skills, being too monotonous. The songs are also missing a bit of cohesion remaining pretty experimental-like.

Conclusion: Soft Riot’s has experimented with new ideas and even if the entire album is not convincing, this is already the best I’ve heard from this artist.

Best songs: “By The Skin Of Your Teeth”, “You Work Is Never Done”.

Rate: (6½).

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