Nope, I’m not above the insanity that is Black Friday. While I may not have lined up in front of my local Target at midnight with my eyes on a new vacuum cleaner, I did celebrate America’s most ridiculous holiday in a different way—today is the winter edition of Record Store Day. After getting to my (kind of) local record store at a reasonable hour, I was able to grab Craig Finn’s new single and a Wilco 10-inch, both of which are Black Friday exclusives. I picked up a few more things while I was there, including a used copy of The Soft Pack’s self-titled release. All I had to go off with this particular record was that the band’s name sounded familiar—I can’t tell you why—and that this fairly beat up copy of the record was only going to cost me $3.
My impulsiveness paid off, as I’ve added a solid indie/surf rock album to my collection. If you’re looking for a record with complexity in its composition, or featuring songs that sound different from one another, I would not recommend turning to The Soft Pack. This album doesn’t get boring, though, as these guys have mastered the art of the three-cord, 4/4 timing rock song. Track after catchy track, The Soft Pack somehow manage to maintain the excitement with what sounds like very little work.
This is why we need record stores. Many of my favorite groups (Titus Andronicus, The xx, Sleigh Bells) are bands that I discovered by chance in record stores. Hey kid, stop all the downloading.