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Local CD Reviews

Stalemate and Silhouettes & Syllables

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STALEMATE

(self-released)

myspace.com/stalemateohio

Formed in 2001 as Tooth Fuzz, these guys have been kicking around Northeast Ohio for almost 10 years. Silhouettes & Syllables' sound reaches back to late '90s alt-rock as the trio evokes the loud/quiet dynamics of Nirvana on "What I Want to Believe" and recalls the call-and-response approach of Jimmy Eat World on "My Best Excuse." While this is their attempt to show how they've evolved, the guys don't sound comfortable being all grown up. Singer-guitarist Jason Kaminski doesn't have the pipes to carry "Ghost Town" or "Going Through the Motions." He fares better on the acoustic ballad "Forgot the Name/Ballerina Girl," a sad song about going home alone on a Saturday night which suggests Stalemate are taking baby steps toward musical maturity. — Jeff Niesel

Silhouettes & Syllables

The Voodoo Two

(self-released)

colinjohnband.com

You might wonder why a guy who hangs out mostly in Hawaii would be feelin' the blues. Or why from time to time, he would leave those heavenly island confines for the North Coast. But guitar wizard and Akron homeboy Colin John does just that, working dates with his Ohio-based lineup. While the technically masterful axeman can navigate the electric realm as well as Joe Satriani and Joe Bonamassa, John has focused lately on acoustic blues. And perhaps his preference for uptempo blues with a matching temperament is no surprise. Bolstered by percussionist Eric Baltrinic, Haints is a succession of breezy, good-time numbers, both traditional and original. Not even the darkness of Robert Johnson's "Me and The Devil" can resist the atmosphere, as the duo transforms them into an extended improvisational romps. — Duane Verh

The Voodoo Two perform at 8:30 p.m. Friday, January 29, at the Lounge (370 Paul Williams St., Akron, 330.535.5483, myspace.com/theloungeniteclub).

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