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Blackstone Rangers 

When: Tue., Feb. 25, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $5
Dallas’ Blackstone Rngers began life as a synth-pop duo, playing fairly unremarkable drum-machine-driven tracks with heavily effected vocals by Ruth Smith. But with the addition of drummer Daniel Bornhorst to the lineup (which also includes guitarist/vocalist Derek Kutzer), the band’s second EP, Descendant, sounds like the work of a more fleshed-out and altogether different band: Opener “Descendant Of” builds a foundation of spacey, swirling synths, guitars, and drums as Smith’s dreamy, layered-up vocals lead to an electrifying psych-rock climax. “Frozen Echo,” meanwhile, begins with an icy heartbeat and floating-in-space vocals before settling into its shoegaze-y slow-dance groove, with Smith’s eerie, hair-raising melodic sighs more than making up for the lack of lyrics. The music of this up-and-coming “synthgaze” band should resonate with fans of shoegaze, noise pop, and synth pop.
— Kathleen Richards

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