Reviewed by Stephen Krock
As their name would suggest, Soft Metals is awash in contradictions. They produce layered, harsh electronic riffs while a breathy songstress sighs out dreamy lyrics. The result is a well-mixed batch of siren songs beckoning the listener to a cold, futuristic world (the electronica) where there is but a small sign of light (the voice).
That’s a fine way to view Lenses as the whole. There are small signs of light, but if you happen to not be a fan of a song’s particular opening riff, well, tough luck. Because you’re going to be hearing it nonstop for four minutes. The backtracks do build and expand, but the monotony in each song can get tiresome. A distinct exception, however, is one of the band’s singles, “Tell Me.” As far as what Soft Metals appears to be going for, it is a veritable success and an excellent choice for a single. The electronic backing is far more kinetic than in the rest of the album and it makes for an exciting listen. While I felt pleasantly transported into an 80’s video game world throughout the entirety of Lenses, “Tell Me” made me feel like I was riding light bikes alongside Tron and Flynn on our way to destroy Master Control. On the flip side, the static and lyric-less “Interobserver” left me in suspended animation. While it could be called a clever little electronic lullaby, it could also be called overlong and trance inducing.
Overall, Soft Metals provide a hypnotic offering that could leave you “veeerrrryyy sleeeeepy” if you’re not careful, but they definitely know how to snap you out of it too.