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Diamond Rings at Circle Bar 

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There's one problem with a high-concept album teaser — the resulting record has to deliver. The electropop outfit Diamond Rings, aka gender-pretzeling Torontoan John O'Regan, hyped its second LP Free Dimensional (Astralwerks) with a lead-up befitting a Hollywood blockbuster's sequel: cliffhanging 30-second instrumental clips of O'Regan, former singer/guitarist of the post-punk band D'Urbervilles, here solo, peroxide-coiffed and Krueger-nailed, skulking like a pre-apocalyptic Mad Maxine through windswept 70 mm widescreen desertscapes. As it was with prior fans who had no clue of O'Regan's inner Robyn, lovers of Diamond Rings' 2010 debut, Special Affections, had to be scratching their thunderdomes. What happened to the bedroom pop star hunched over keyboards and drum pads, flatlining back-flashing new wave and fair-skinned R&B miniatures with dramatically simple arrangements and a throat-catching, Adam's apple-bobbing baritone? On Free Dimensional, he's been replaced by a preening peacock with all his colors on display: androgynous android, dancehall diva, hi-fi tightrope walker and (lamentably) flow-choked rapper. Aside from what-the-funk misstep "(I Know) What I'm Made Of" (he doesn't always), it's an impressive transformation, if not an altogether satisfying one. Sometimes the caterpillar outshines the butterfly. Gold Fields opens. Admission $8. — Noah Bonaparte Pais


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