After SoapKills announced earlier this month that they would be releasing a 'Best of' compilation, we here at could not contain our excitement at the slightest and faintest prospect of a Hamdan-Hamdan reunion. While that's unlikely to happen any time soon, we decided to take this opportunity to remind ourselves of what it was that made Yasmine and Zeid the true pioneers of the Lebanese indie scene with this throwback to a time when the very best music in town came in a plastic jewel case and had the words "La CD-Thèque" on the back:

1. Lost (1997)

As the country was lulled into post-war normalcy with songs like Raje3 Raje3 Yet3ammar and La3younak, Soap Kills emerged with a melancholy name and sound that expressed the angst that many of us were feeling during that surreal decade.

Their debut EP, "Lost," was only four tracks long, but listening to it at the time felt like stumbling on a manifesto. With cryptic lyrics like "let's walk on the beach, there is no sea at all," the title track painted a strange and dark landscape without falling into the trap of protest song literalism. The EP also featured a bluesy, conflicted love song called Salopette which has surprisingly aged well over the years. But the standout track still has to be Violence. The way that song abruptly ends at peak crescendo still sends shivers up the spine.

2. Bater (2000)
Soap Kills' first full-length album was the enigmatically titled and packaged "Bater," a record that saw them turn to their signature trip-hop sound. The album features some of Soap Kills' best material; songs like Le Zaalen?, Coit Me -- updated by Yasmine in her solo album, Arabology -- and Follow -- covered by Zeid, with his band The New Government. But Bater's highlight is the haunting Yahoo!, a song that puts a clever, internet-age twist on that timeless story of Lebanese migration -- “habibi tar khalf el bi7ar, fattesh 3aleh bel Yahoo.”

3. Cheftak (2002)

By their second album, Soap Kills began showcasing a more diverse electro-pop sound that prefigured the solo experimentations Zeid and Yasmine would take in the coming years. Several instrumentals on the record -- like Dub4me, which would become the basis of Rayess Bek's Choufo Halone -- showcase Zeid’s skills as a producer, a muscle he’ll keep flexing in many future projects. On other tracks -- like Tango, a reworked cover ofNour Al-Houda’s Tango Al-Amal -- Yasmine's neo-moutriba croonings take center stage, hinting at the kind of solo artist she would also become in later years.

The diversity of this album makes it hard to pick one standout track; if you like wordplay and a dancey-beat, the title track, Cheftak, is the one for you, but if you're more into Soap Kills' somber side, then Kazdoura, with its eerie honeydew synth-lines, will definitely hit the spot.

4. Enta Fen (2005)

Soap Kills’ last album together featured three orchestral or acoustic reworkings of older tracks from their discography, and a collaboration with RBG, from Kita3iyon, whom Zeid had been working with for a while. While this record showcased Soap Kills’ sound at its most polished, at the time, the album felt like the duo were anxious to move on to new projects. Zeid had already formed The New Government, and released a few ‘Soap-like’ tracks as Shift-Z. Indeed, listening to the record now, it is striking how we could already hear elements of the sound we would get to know years later with Zeid and the Wings, in the two standout tracks Herzan and Wahch.

Yet, with Yasmine’s solo take on the title track (Enta Fen, Again) coming out a few years later, and the constant reworking of previous material in future projects, it seems like this band will live on, despite its “Murder in Slow Motion.”

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