Sure, this album is sensitive and emotive -- but it's not monochromatic or simply reliant on fading from loud to soft and back to loud again. The group manages to balance out a mixture of bright, acoustic shimmers of guitar with more forceful electric leads and a handful of singalong harmonies. Occasionally, they end up with a poppy, slightly off-kilter pop song like "Hosanna in the Highest" -- which sounds like a teenage Buffalo Tom. The recording of the album is another highlight -- the way the bells chime or the acoustic guitars flicker. A track like "One Version of Events" is a basic chunky punk-pop song with thick, quavering leads, but it comes to life in the recording and multi-tracking. "Deadship, Darkship," with its harmony-led chorus and cathartic screech, manages to deliver tension tenfold -- not to mention by throwing in an arena-ready singalong. Elsewhere in the album, moments of presumed predictability are given new light by quick changes and smart melodies. For every minute of tinny, wishful, bleary-eyed angst, there's a rallying cry à la Superchunk. It may not be the most distinctive of releases, but it manages to formulate the sounds of what could be an interesting trajectory.
AllMusic Review by Jon Pruett