Perhaps my internet searching skills are simply failing me, but information about Bloomington, Indiana?s Vopat is hard to come by. I believe there is one primary member, whose name is Ryan. This adorable little three-inch self-titled CD squeezes six tracks onto the tiny surface area and manages to do a remarkable amount of rocking out. Vopat sits within one of the trillions of boxes beneath Mogwai on the Great Flowchart of Music, and in the genre of post-rock, too often it?s enough to mention Mogwai and end the review.
There?s the usual blend of moody ambience punctuated by big soaring and ringing guitars; everyone knows the soft/loud drill by now. Whether an artist succeeds in this tired field depends on how the dynamics are arranged into the songwriting. Vopat mines some interesting sounds, but the results here miss as much as they hit. He does have a sense of those dynamics, but the songs are never epic enough. The six tracks are like very small rooms with very high ceilings. ?Calico File? is derivative, yes, but it scrapes the sky and bursts with emotion before fading out far too suddenly just after three minutes. It?s when Ryan touches upon the ambient groove of Amp during his more drifting intros that he?s most intriguing, although there is a tendency to get a little darker than the mood dictates. When he piles on the rawk things just get a tad too bland. Still, there?s enormous promise here, and with a pressing of only 100 copies of this three-incher, the entire package is modest enough to forgive any shortcomings. With a full-length I?d like to hear Vopat stretch things out to their appropriate dimensions. 6/10 -- Michael Wehunt (12 February, 2008)