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12/19/2012

cd RobotboyRazorwire Halo

‘Robotboy’

Independent

One thing you need to give Razorwire Halo credit for is its level of commitment: There’s not a huge commercial clamor for electro-goth rock anymore, but that doesn’t stop the Kansas City four-piece from doing it to the hilt and doing it fairly well. The concern with “Robotboy” and, in a more holistic sense, with Razorwire Halo, is that passion and talent may not be enough to win people over. For the casual listener of the genre, it’ll be easy to chalk the band up as a Trent Reznor knock-off. But upon closer inspection, Razorwire Halo — while certainly not re-inventing the genre — executes it really well. “Robotboy” is full of complex melodies that may take a listen or two to appreciate fully. And the vocal work of female lead/guitarist Violette Syn is both refreshing and under-utilized. CV             

Robotboy is available for digital download and CD preorder at www.razorwirehalo.com.

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cd Aaron TinjumAaron Tinjum and The Tangents

‘Mirrors in the Dark’

Independent

In “Mirrors in the Dark,” the Austin-based Tinjum has created, along with violinist Katie Smith, an album that’s deceptive in its simplicity. Upon first listen, “Mirrors” is almost parochial, and some of it never really redeems itself: Smith’s violin work in tracks like “Desdemona” and “The Roll Along Song” is repetitive and simplistic to the point of distraction. But other aspects — namely Tinjum’s songwriting and delivery — vibrantly capture the essence of really good acoustic folk. “American Road” in particular is a song that seems simplistic and even a little preachy at first blush. But as it unfolds, the track becomes rather Bob Dylan-esque with its jangling banjo and Tinjum’s wailing delivery. I’m certainly not likening Tinjum to Dylan, but “Mirrors in the Dark” is reminiscent enough to pique some interest. CV

“Mirrors in the Dark” is available through www.aarontinjum.com.

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