Originally published in Punk Planet March/April 2007
This somewhat-anonymous act shows no love for boundaries on a 10-song outing that refuses to adhere to genre formulas or even the conventional borders of a CD track.
Spare ambient asides bleed into soaring, Mogwai-inspired refrains before reverting to quiet, shimmering bits of pop rock. And none of this seems to bother containing itself to a single track.
Sings begin and end in silence, or sprout suddenly from some half-ominous found sound, making the record’s best passages difficult to pinpoint.
When taking in a single sitting, though, the disc’s instinctive sequencing suggests and instrumental narrative: the booming title track yields to the morning-after pop-sunshine of “Soldier On,” then a succession of remorseful acoustics (“Pause”), frustrated stomping (“Winter Nails”), and white noise (“Substitute Smile”).
It’s a surprisingly engaging story that ends well, if not happily, with the melancholy reprise of “Sometimes It Won’t.”
Even then, Vopat refuses to close the proceedings, as one might anticipate, with the delicate repetition of paper-thin guitars that swim through the middle of the song. Instead, we get a quiet drone – a swelling of sound so low in the mix it’s nearly imperceptible – and then nothing but a curious desire to follow the story through again.