Although Velocity Girl never made the major-label leap of bands like Belly or Veruca Salt, it certainly wasn't for lack of talent. But it is difficult to imagine their first proper album, Copacetic, with anything other than indie-label production values. It's essentially a post-shoegazer update of R.E.M.-ish jangle pop, which covers two of the most popular reference points in early-'90s indie pop. What makes Velocity Girl stand out is their songcraft and the way they constantly play with the balance of that equation. Sarah Shannon's girlish voice and sweet melodies are often wrapped in fuzzed-out white noise that simply wouldn't have the same effect if it were polished up. However, the band doesn't rely exclusively on it; some numbers trade the wall-of-noise guitars for straight-up collegiate power pop, but more often, they shuffle back and forth between the two extremes. As a result, perfect three-minute pop singles sit comfortably next to up-tempo rockers and dreamy, blissed-out slow numbers. Sure, the band is derivative of its influences, but those influences are smartly reassembled in a way that's both typical of its time and very well-executed. And, with its shifting balance between melody and noise, lightness and haze, Copacetic is the album that best encapsulates Velocity Girl's appeal.