The penultimate track of Soup Moat‘s third full-length album, Harvester Of Likes, is called “Porn In The Woods.” A tribute to the small-town, pre-internet phenomenon of finding a stash of weathered Playboys under a railroad bridge or in a hollowed-out tree or whatever, it’s a song that perfectly sums up the band behind it. Harvester Of Likes finds the Milwaukee group at its most seedy, its most sludgy, its most charming and mischievous. Soup Moat may have stumbled upon porn in the woods back in the day, but now they’re the ones hiding it.
“Porn” isn’t the only wooded adventure on the record. Opener “Riff River” is a pummeling, hiccuping engine-starter that eventually gives way to a full-throttled booze cruise. That song, in turn, empties out into the anthemic and melodic “Navel Gaze”—a.k.a. one of the best Milwaukee singles of the year. “I don’t want this anymore! / I don’t need this anymore!” howls the band. It’s heavy, sure, but it’s also fun, funny, and accessible—all past and present Soup Moat hallmarks. (On the Venn Diagram of Milwaukee bands, Soup Moat represents the approximate overlap of Platinum Boys and Moon Rats.)
What else does Harvester Of Likes have in store? The usual: getting high and tripping balls (“Combo Throne”), cracking open some chakras (“Pocket Full Of Ginger”), and screaming about a dude named Todd (“Todd”). Clocking in at roughly 30 minutes, it’s a tight and focused ride, all shot through with a sense of post-internet levity. Turn it up, get weird, and smash that “like” button, indeed.
Harvester Of Likes is available on cassette, via Gloss Records, here. Soup Moat will celebrate the release of the album Friday, July 13 at Cactus Club. Milwaukee’s Sex Scenes and Doubletruck will play in support, along with New York City’s Tight Fright. The show begins at 8 p.m. and costs a lousy $7 at the door. You should go!