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A. Sinclair

Pretty Girls

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 15, 2014

Texas Platters

Shedding the Frank Smith moniker under which he's performed for more than a decade, Aaron Sinclair finds a more confident and convincing sound with his debut EP. Though essentially the same band, the rebranding marks a significant, if still evidently evolutionary shift for the local songwriter, announced at the outset with the tight, rough riffs and sharp post-punk lines of "Suit Up," kicking up into a maelstrom of keys and aggressively poppier rhythms. "You Gotta Decide" drops darker and slower behind the hypnotic percussion, but disjointed keyboard and guitar breaks throughout the EP spark the songs and signal more complex intentions, especially the jagged blur infecting the direct pop-punk punch of the title track. The back half of "Shiny Things," tension-driven "Throwing Up on the Ground," and subdued "Yeah Me Too" settle somewhat even when exploring new directions, and leave compelling paths open to whichever way Aaron Sinclair progresses.

***

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