Austin bassist Andrew Duplantis
(Son Volt and Jon Dee Graham) made an inauspicious St. Louis debut as a solo singer-songwriter at the well-intentioned but disappointing 2005 Mound City Music Festival. His new album with scruffy young band the Unfaithfuls, Colorblind
, suggests the heyday of vaguely twangy Austin rockers the True Believers and Loose Diamonds, albeit augmented with synth whine and sub-Farrarian abstruseness. "Talking backwards, is it possible?" Duplantis, his voice buried in guitar noise, seems to sing. "All directions outside in mutilating any silence." Translation: He's still on the verge of a confident songwriting voice. But when he plugs into elemental power pop on "Next Question" and "Backpedaling," Duplantis sounds like he's moving forward, and ready to arrive.