Robo and thePassing Tones
Open Door Policy
The jazzy, jammy trio Robo and the Passing Tones demonstrates an interesting range on its adventuresome, if not altogether successful, debut album. The band members—guitarist/vocalist Robby, bassist Blakely, and drummer Count Chris—have credible chops, and show noticeable ambition as songwriters, but their attempts at funk and soul largely come off as flat-footed, and Robby’s over-earnest delivery highlights the clumsiness of the pseudo-philosophical lyrics (“If the walls fall in, will the castle still stand?... I sit and watch the early bird just lookin’ for the worm”). There’s a germ of an intriguing sound on Open Door Policy, but the Passing Tones could benefit from a more whimsical, playful approach than the poetic pretensions they display here.