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Thy Slaughter – Soft Rock

1883 Magazine reviews Thy Slaughter's debut record, Soft Rock.

Renowned artists and visionaries, A. G. Cook and EASYFUN of PC Records wave goodbye to their soon-to-be archival label with the release of their debut Thy Slaughter album, Soft Rock

The new project fuses hard pop with soft rock and blurs the lines between traditional genre bounds. The album features the voices and writing prowess of fellow PC music allies Charlie XCX, Ellie Rowsell, Caroline Polachek, and Alaska Reid. 

With the end of London-based experimental pop label PC Music approaching, Soft Rock is one of the last planned new projects from the crew before the switch to archival releases only. The distorted synths and outright wacky effects make it not only a worthy end, but something you need to listen to. 

Opening with the distorted bop Sentence, the album is off to a catchy and high-octane start. With many tracks on the record featuring vocals from collaborators, this one is adorned solely with the effect-laden voice from Finn Keane of EASYFUN. 

Immortal, features the alluring and wistful vocals of Caroline Polachek which perfectly fit the beautiful nature of the track and serve as a welcome pathway into the rest of the record. 

Heavy, featuring Charli XCX, cements the record as not only a fond farewell but a cheers to the future. It’s a personal favourite of mine, giving heed to Charlie’s signature sounds while finding its place perfectly within Soft Rock. Whenever Charlie works with A. G. Cook or EASYFUN, it’s electric and this is no different. On the surface, it could easily sit on one of XCX’s solo releases but goes along perfectly with the journey of Soft Rock, adding a certain signature feel.

Flail, a track featuring vocals from A. G. Cook and EASYFUN alone is a distorted, guitar-driven catchy and upbeat ditty that leaves you wanting more after the two-minute-thirty-five-second ride. 

Another big highlight for me is Lost Everything, a track which began with writing credits from the late innovative producer and performer Sophie in 2016 before being completed in 2022 with Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice. Ellie’s vocals are felicitous to the delicate nature of the track highlighting a different side to a dodecahedron of an album.

One of the more stripped-back tracks on the record, O Fortuna, uses a plethora of interesting sounds–Angular guitars with precise polyrhythms, palpitating guitar strumming, and use of harmonics give the track tones of uncertainty as to where it will lead next. Eventually closing with twisting synths, the song is somewhat an underdog on a record full of catchy bangers. 

As mentioned previously by Finn Keane of EASYFUN, nobody expected much from Thy Slaughter, first debuting their collaborative efforts with a single featured on PC Music: Volume 1 back in 2015. The pair are “Back for armageddon” with Soft Rock, having described it as a personal summation of the musical influences they have spoken about for the last seventeen years. A fitting end to a movement which significantly shaped and influenced pop music over the last decade.

Words Gabi Oates 

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