A Silent Ending
A Silent Ending encapsulates the entire Warped Tour into one fourteen-minute debut disc: All that’s missing are the merch booths. For the album’s first thirty seconds, the Kansas City quartet’s quick-tapping drums and melodic guitar leads brand it as yet another of NOFX’s illegitimate spawn, but then it abruptly departs from that accessible path and chooses a rockier road. Rough vocals overlap, riffs and bass lines tangle and tussle, and the percussion follows peculiar patterns instead of galloping predictably. After the initial roars, the backdrop becomes even more complex, with assertive guitar countermelodies competing against the songs’ vocal hooks. Then comes a series of erratic slow-motion staggers, during which the band lulls and lurches like a sleep-deprived trucker. That’s pop-punk, obtuse indie rock and hardcore — Warped’s three major flavors. The group even covers the Tour’s extreme-sports aspect with “Surf the Concrete,” an ode to skating. Not only does such versatility bode well for the group’s alt-radio prospects, but it also makes A Silent Ending an ideal local opener for a wide range of national acts.