search for something...

search for something you might like...

Say Yes To No Alan Rider nods approvingly to the new Soft Riot album

Say Yes To No

Alan Rider nods approvingly to the new Soft Riot album

by Alan Rider, Contributing Editor
first published: July, 2023

approximate reading time: minutes

'...alternately bubbling or razor-sharp analogue synths battle it out in a sound that is both retro and futuristic.'

(Possession Records/Wave Tension)

Here at Outsideleft we have gotten pretty good at spotting truly independent talent whenever it rears its head, and Soft Riot certainly fall into that category fair and square. Soft Riot are Canadian Glaswegian (in that he is Canadian and now resides in Glasgow) Jack Duckworth who composes, performs, records, produces, mixes, releases and promotes entirely by himself, including producing a string of immaculately crafted videos and running Possession Records. The only way I can see of him managing this alongside earning a living as a graphic artist is that he has either secretly perfected time stretching technology, or successfully cloned himself. Setting that aside, 'No', the tenth Soft Riot album in a row is yet another step forward. All of the recognisable Soft Riot elements are here. Stentorian vocals preside over often brutally punchy drums, whilst alternately bubbling or razor-sharp analogue synths battle it out in a sound that is both retro and futuristic in the vein of Parade Ground with EBM elements. 

 Standout tracks include the singles 'A Spade Is Played Again' and the album opener 'Linked Between Two Minds'. (which I guess is why they were pulled out as singles), with the more experimental introductions to each side of the vinyl album (Soft Riot having been good enough to actually provide us with a physical copy, which few acts do) possibly hinting at the future direction Soft Riot may be heading in. There is also a limited edition 'zine, or rather 'song notes and patches', included with the vinyl edition, describing in forensic detail the thinking process behind each track. Perhaps too much detail, as when he started talking about D flats and F minors I confess I began to glaze over a bit! Much of this album was cooked up in lockdown as so many artists have done. In fact one of the hidden benefits of lockdown may very well have been to force all acts off the road and make them stay at home and write without that pressure. 'No' is a perfect example of the fruition of that process and the deep thought and obsessive attention to detail Jack gives to everything he does, meaning you really have very little option but to say 'Yes' to 'No'.

Out 11 August in all formats. Vinyl edition includes limited edition zine.


Alan Rider
Contributing Editor

Alan Rider is a Norfolk based writer and electronic musician from Coventry, who splits his time between excavating his own musical past and feeding his growing band of hedgehogs, usually ending up combining the two. Alan also performs in Dark Electronic act Senestra and manages the indie label Adventures in Reality.

about Alan Rider »»



All About and Contributors


Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]


If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]


Ooh Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha May 29th

outsideleft content is not for everyone