Filthy are a fantastic darkwave/post-punk trio out of Texas. Alex Alvarado (bass) and Leonard Guerra (vocals, guitar) of San Antonio are the originators, though Rick Flores (drums) from Austin joined in 2016 and helped push the band forward to touring the U.S. and Canada. Filthy has already played with the likes of SEXTILE, The Soft Moon, Pleasure Leftists, Crazy Spirit, Annex, Rakta, and more. Their latest release is the 4-track Soft Restraint EP, which was recorded along with Fault In Tolerance EP last year. Soft Restraint is like black velvet – it’s dark and brooding, but also delightfully soft. Starting now, the band has exactly 25 copies of the EP on 8″ lathe available, so don’t sleep on it!
Opening track “Dead of Dawn” sounds a lot like Joy Division, namely in the bass lines. In fact it almost has the same beat as “Transmission”. The vocals are not baritione like Ian Curtis, but rather tormented post-punk in nature with a unique grittiness to it. I love the dark, spidery guitar speeding throughout the song. It feels swirly and shoegazey at times. “Death of Helen & Boris” is much slower and more dramatic than the first song, honestly pretty reminiscent of The Cure’s Pornography. It tells a story and seemingly transports the listener to some ethereal dreamland while showcasing a good range from each musician.
“Soft Restraint” for which the EP is titled is a sorrowful dance song you’ll want to sway along to. I enjoy the melodies throughout this one, especially all the passion from the vocalist combined with a minimal wave sound that isn’t quite like anything else we’ve heard so far on the EP. “Anosmia” is a continuation of this sound, combining minimalist drum machine with some excellent guitar lines (my favorite is about 3/4 of the way through) and dreamy, melodious vocals. This final track is easily my favorite on the entire EP. I never know what to do with myself when it’s over, I want to stay in dreamland!