At the heart of War Tapes are siblings Neil and Becca Popkin. Unlike some other mixed sex bands, War Tapes’ male and female vocals work very well. While Neil performs lead vocal duties, Becca adds subtle yet noticeable background vocals. Her voice is especially effective in the haunting song “Start Over”. Also contributing to the sound are William Mohler on drums and Matt Bennett on guitar. They are capable of playing their instruments very appropriately according to the style of the respective tracks, from goth rocks to melancholic ballads.
The voice of Neil, which is energetic and suitable for the songs, as well as their angst and melancholic filled lyrics are not particularly unique. However, whirring guitars meet his dark voice, and driving beats occasionally give you sensual shivers. This first full length album definitely can take us to the dark side of pop music and the soft side of post punk.
The Continental Divide CD has snappy and catchy tunes with a mixture of 80s pop and post-punk music, therefore, this album will make fans of this music style look back at their vinyl treasures, and probably satisfy some listeners with a weakness for new wave. Even though I have nothing really negative to say about this album, it may have a hard time getting noticed since there are similar albums out there. I am almost certain that War Tapes are aware of this fact, and they are actually doing something about it. According to their website, the band appears on the ABC Family TV series “GREEK” on June 15.