January 10, 2006

hiSoft "Amateur"

Like Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Lilys has had a high turnover rate, with many of the band’s ex-members going on to make excellent music on their own. (What is it with psych-rock bands producing enigmatic perfectionist leaders who go through members as if they were guitar strings?) HiSoft is a great example of this continuum, as Gerhardt Koerner’s new project, HiSoft, sounds exactly like what you’d expect from an ex-Lilys member. Amateur is poorly-titled, as the five songs on this debut EP are most certainly not the work of an amateur.

Naturally, the psych-pop influence can be found in heavy doses; Koerner has a knack for writing a lovely, groovy melody, as demonstrated by the excellent opening track, “Soft Rock.” Full of gorgeous harmonies, wonderfully chiming guitars, and a wonderfully stoned melody, it’s instantly addictive. Thankfully, Koerner follows this great song with four even better songs. Blending Byrds-like melodies with hints of later-sounding bands like XTC and even My Bloody Valentine, Amateur blends the modern with the ancient, resulting in a gorgeous psych-pop mix. It’s hard to resist the charm of “Continental Luck” and “Kenzo,” and the closing “Country” is simply a wonderful mellow ballad. Dig those harmonies, though!

Amateur is a fun, enjoyable record, and it’s certainly evidence that HiSoft is a band to watch. Welcome to the world!

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.myspace.com/hisoft
Label Website: http://www.chocohearts.com