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For its second release, Climate of Fear proudly presents “So Nice,” the debut LP from Soft Boi aka Pessimist aka Kristian Jabs. Following 2019’s sludge-crawl collab with Karim Maas and the eco-hellscape new age of Boreal Massif’s “We All Have An Impact,” Jabs turns his attention to a new nightmare: dating. “So Nice” dials back the suffocating d’n’b bass weight. Jabs has perfected, opting instead for a shimmering palette of magenta hued synth leads and chunky Rhythm Nation snare cracks. Across this languid backdrop, Jabs narrates the inner monologue of his Soft Boi counterpart. By turns cheeky, seething and emotive, his terse lyrics dissect modern masculinity with unflinching control. Hours blearily wasted on dating apps, spiraling arguments and circular obsessions, the clammy loneliness of self-obsession and the rigid fury of objectification all spread out across the album like an oil spill. From the opening credits roll of “Saying Hi To You,” through the slo-mo rave sheen of “Fais Moi La Guerre” (feat Nastychong), the junglist malaise of “And Shout” and the boiled trip hop of “Guestlist,” “So Nice” is an album of surprising violence, tightly coiled and covered an artificially-sweetened pop glaze. As Soft Boi, Jabs reclaims the conceptual from its oft-clinical corner, giving us a concept / breakup album rooted in the club marketplace, executed with punk’s jugular concision and driven by a deep antipathy for modern life & love.