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Boomkat Product Review:
Ramond Raposa of Castanets has been diligently plying his trade for more than five years now, and with each release his distinctive brand of Americana becomes more and more complex and complete sounding. In fact, by now it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect Raposa to be in a position where he might be able to win sizeable audiences - even if he's not quite got that overnight success Bon Iver factor about him, you can reasonably think about comparing this man's craft to the understated diligence of Bill Callahan. However, while the erstwhile Smog man enjoys a rich, Johnny Cash-like Baritone, Raposa's delivery is decidedly less comforting to the ear. It's not so much that it's by any means a bad, or even particularly strange vocal, but it does make him sound creepy. On the otherwise exceedingly lovely avant-country of 'Rose', when he romantically emotes "And now Rose when I think of you/The cold never comes", Raposa sounds like Willem Dafoe (probably whilst playing the Green Goblin) doing an impression of Will Oldham. A very peculiar sensation, although not unappealing it should be said. Texas Rose, The Thaw And The Beasts brings great songs as ever, but this time around an extended cast of musicians (including members of The Black heart Procession and Rocket From The Crypt) are on board, with Asthmatic Kitty producer Rafter Roberts helping mold a more experimental take on alt. country sounds, encompassing occasional bouts of glitchy electronics and deep-set soundscaping. Recommended.