The first thing that anybody will notice upon listening to Go Slowpoke is the unmistakable voice of front man and songwriter-in-chief, Peter Woiwod. His voice, a unique, high, fractured yelp full of squeaks and cracks, is the making or breaking point for a lot of listeners. But the rawness of his vocals is definitely one of the biggest assets of his music. The splintered sighs and phrases that he pushes forth, as if he were about to run out of breath, carry an evocative emotional weight; a weight that makes ostensibly slight lyrics like 'girl, you make me match my clothes,' seem powerful and melancholy. That is one of the many charms and beauties of Go Slowpoke's new album Alphabet, there is always something more complex lurking underneath their seemingly wistful pop. The disc opens with birds chirping which then give way to the joyous and upbeat 'Hold Me Down & Tear Me Apart.' The insistent acoustic guitar strums are eventually backed by beautifully layered cello and a wordless chorus of 'whoa's,' which make it impossible for the listener to doubt the ability that this band has to craft an ideal pop song. The first four songs on the album are all consistent examples of this idyllic sound, with tight arrangements, harmonious back-up vocals, and cello courtesy of Anna Arven. A perfect example of this is the five minute 'Back into a Redwood,' which is definitely the most heartrending and ambitious track on Alphabet. The song opens with a fragile minor chord progression, cello, and Peter's lone voice as he sings 'I'd push the monster back, I'd grow so strong, I wouldn't care if you hurt me.' The song gradually gives way to outsized, pounding drums and dramatic keyboards. Following this is the comical countrified stomp of 'I've Got Jesus' with special guest vocals by Poops, which is the centerpiece of the 10-song album. 'I Found the World Right Where I Left It' is the antithesis of 'I've Got Jesus'. It is a beautiful piano ballad that features Peter stripped bare of any help from his band mates save for the haunting choral vocals that enter half way through. After the country pop and great slide guitar work of 'Last Song About the Old Girl,' comes 'Girl, You Make Me Clean My Room' to close out the album (the song that contains the lyrics mentioned in the first paragraph of this review). The strongest moments offered on Alphabet are the ones that take the listener down an uncomfortable and melancholy path, which is something that bands of this nature rarely ever pull off the way that Go Slowpoke does. By Nick Dillon, What's Up! Magazine.