The last time we heard from Soft Copy, it was with their 2010 full-length Vicious Modernism. The record was a good one, with plenty of anthemic lyrics about life, love and the slow decay of our economic and political systems. Heavy shit, and Soft Copy wrapped these tough-love messages in a swirling mix of pop-hooks, crunchy bass and heavy riffage that made Vicious Modernism one of 2010’s most interesting local releases.

Since Vicious Modernism, the band has undergone a personnel change (bassist Wes Hodgson departed in 2010 and his role has since been filled by Matt Webb, formerly of the band No Hands) and assembled a three song EP titled Games.

Past releases by Soft Copy have invited comparisons to 90s greats like Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. It’s an apt comparison, and probably a welcome one for Soft Copy. Games makes a few departures from previous work, and relies much more heavily on the pop facets of the band’s personality. Don’t get me wrong, Soft Copy still know how to write a rock song, and there’s a pleasant, rough quality to the music, particularly on the EP’s second track Détente, where the band indulge in a little Thurston Moore-style dissonance.

Vocalist Andrew McCallister changes up his attack as well. On Vicious Modernism McCallister’s vocals were aggressive and owed more to the band’s punk influences. On Games his voice comes in more melodic and softer. It’s a nice change, though occasionally he disappears behind the band’s wall of sound.

You gotta hand it to Soft Copy, they’ve shown they know how to make a good record, and Games, short and sweet though it is, is definitely an example. It’s a rich mix of musical and lyrical weight thrown in with some tasty pop groove. Stay tuned for the full-length.