It was a miserable and wet Wednesday night in Sydney, but that did not stop a great crowd from attending The Soft Pack’s gig at Oxford Art Factory. Local guys Cabins opened the night, presenting the crowd with a short yet brilliant set. Main act of the night, The Soft Pack, came onstage not long after, beginning with up-tempo numbers ‘Pull Out’ and ‘Down On Loving’.
The San Diego, LA-based band was first known as The Muslims – a name they decided to change due to the disgusting racist remarks they constantly received. That said, it wasn’t just their controversial moniker that captured the attention of both fans and media alike, but also the impressive quality of their music.
Lead vocalist Matt Lamkin has been compared to The Strokes’ front man Julian Casablancas time and time again. This is no surprise to me after seeing The Soft Pack live. Their songs bring out a presence similar to that of The Strokes. But don’t take Lamkin for a Casablancas imitator, as his vocal style and delivery, together with his onstage charisma, go way beyond that.
There was a mixture of tempos on the night. ‘C’mon’ reminds me of a Vampire Weekend single – with Lamkin sounding strangely similar to lead singer Ezra Koenig. My personal favourite, early single ‘Extinction’, received a surprisingly overwhelming response. A few slow jams were also thrown in and ‘Mexico’ was one that got the punters swaying longingly.
The 10-song set saw mostly upbeat singles; with the standout song of the night being the obvious ‘Answer To Yourself’. Given the best response of the night, the Sydney crowd sang the lyrics while tapping and even dancing along to the catchy beats.
Not too bad indeed, The Soft Pack gave an effortless debut Australian performance and I sure am looking forward to their return to our mainland!