Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., Jan. 23, 2015
Veering left of Americana, the solo debut from Milton Mapes/Monahans principal Greg Vanderpool cashes in gradual West Texas soundscapes for a more precise, inwardly focused take on desolation. Eight short, sharp pleas garner thematic unity under the umbrella of loss. "End of the Fight" opens on a hard-picked acoustic guitar that gives wiry, urgent form to Vanderpool's elegiac sentiment. Faraway vocals arrive couched in echo and reverb, adding to the transitory vibe. The finished product may owe more to anti-folk than alt.country. "Truth or Consequences" bears strong resemblance to the raw bedroom-pop confessionals that often dressed up obscure mid-Nineties indie films, while "Tightrope (Transmission Farewell)" sounds like a lost Springsteen demo. "The Less It Can Be Measured" offers a hypnotically repetitive meditation that builds tension with each droning cycle before "Unrest" crashes into stark, piano-driven oblivion. The sum of these disparate tangents is the sonic equivalent of an unfinished home, but that's likely the point.