By Glenn Alderson
Get ready to meet Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Softswitch, an unassuming creative force who dabble in gritty late-80s era noise rock (think Big Black, Head Of David) and modern post punk (Ought, Parquet Courts).
The band has just dropped their debut EP, Happiness, and they’re coming out of the gate with a smile. Drawn together by their love of post-punk, early bedtimes and DIY electronics, the quartet has crafted four sonically challenging and equally punishing tracks to bring you back to a time when a band’s credibility was measured by more than just digital streams.
For their first adventure in analog, Softswitch recorded their four-song EP to tape in Winnipeg with Grant Trippel at Exchange District Studio, before taking a trip to Chicago to have it mixed by the grandmaster himself, Steve Albini (Shellac/Big Black), then mastered by Bob Weston.
A solid roster of album credits help complement the collective vision of drummer Suzy Keller, bassist/vocalist Ryan McPherson, guitarist Rob Hill, and Marisa Halek on synthesizer. Together the band creates a sound that is a nod to all the refreshing yet authentically fun and familiar riffs that came before them. Happiness can be measured in a lot of ways and this particular Happiness is worth paying attention to in full, right up until album closer, “MKIII.”
“The voiceless will remember the names of the silent,” McPherson says in his talk-sing drawl before the band breaks out in to a theremin fuelled post hardcore romp. Prepare to have your senses challenged.