“We're The Soft Pack,” lead singer Matt Lamkin told the crowd at Opal Divine's Freehouse in downtown Austin last night. “We're from California.”

The Los Angeles-based band then launched into a hard-driving, 20-minute set, with another gig tonight at the Mohawk Patio at 11 p.m. The buzz of last year's South by Southwest Music Festival, The Soft Pack once again showed off a take-no-prisoners sound propelled by the exact vocals of Lamkin and the ferocious drumming of Brian Hill.

Lead guitarist Matty McLoughlin and bassist Dave Lantzman also figured heavily in the mix, but after listening to the group that played before The Soft Pack, anyone with soul and a good set of ears quickly realizes that Lamkin's snarling, well-phrased delivery and Hill's dead-on, red-hot beat make this band a stand out, and infuse a kind of precise danger into their live sound.

While The Soft Pack's set was short on Thursday night, the band will probably play longer at the Mohawk Patio on Friday. New York City's The Ettes, another group that doesn't fool around, fills the 10 p.m. slot before them, adding up to nearly two hours of no surrender rock 'n' roll.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

LA Weekly