New music roundup: Soft Kill, Tank and the Bangas, The War on Drugs – Columbia Daily Tribune

Posted: November 29, 2020 at 5:44 am

Aarik Danielsen|Columbia Daily Tribune

Soft Kill, "Dead Kids, R.I.P. City" (Cercle Social)

Dig the melodic melancholy ofThe Smiths? The propulsive rhythms of New Order? The soft strangeness of the citizens of "Twin Peaks"? Then Soft Kill might be your next favorite band.

The Portland, Oregon outfit has not-so-quietly amassed an impressive discography over the past decade. On the band's latest, it deftly finds the dark, romantic heart of youth. Gliding guitars, unflinching vocals and the against-all-odds sense that life is goingsomewheremeet, making the band a fitting companion for diving into then digging yourself out of heartbreak.

Key tracks: "Roses All Around," "Wanting War," "Floodgate"

Tank and the Bangas, "Friend Goals EP" (UMG)

TermingTarriona "Tank" Ball a force of nature is cliche but no less true. Ball brings a dynamic presence to everything her New Orleans collective does. The band follows her lead, creating something sparkling yet raw at the intersection of rock, pop and soul.

The band's new EP explores both ends of its range. Deep hip-hop grooves make room for Ball and a great panoply of guests, including PJ Morton, CHIKA andChristian Scott aTunde Adjuah to do what she does best. Big gestures arrive less frequently, but pack a serious punch when they do.

Key tracks:"Fluff," "TSA," "Mr. Insta"

The War on Drugs, Live Drugs (Super High Quality)

The War on Drugs' catalog has long felt like a great push-and-pull. Between Adam Granduciel's influences Dylan, Springsteen, Petty and his more atmospheric tendencies. And between Granduciel's admitted perfectionism and his desire to let his shaggy hair down.

Brilliant recent Drugs albums (especially 2014's "Lost in the Dream" and 2017's "A Deeper Understanding") have brought a fruitful reconciliation to that first set of concerns. The band's new live record satisfies the latter. The songs here brim with craftsmanship, but Granduciel and Co. allow heart and soul to ring through guitar solos, pealing saxophone passages and the little vocal inflections that seal the connection between singer and listener.

Key tracks: An Ocean Between the Waves, Thinking of a Place, Eyes to the Wind

adanielsen@columbiatribune.com 573-815-1731

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New music roundup: Soft Kill, Tank and the Bangas, The War on Drugs - Columbia Daily Tribune

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