“Chameleonic” is the word of the word of the day for Android Angel frontman Paul Colto on his sophomore disc Glow Worm. Colto’s having relationship troubles throughout the album, but though he may be in an emotional rut—“I feel all hope is gone!” he bleats on “Second Base”—but he’s not in a sonic rut. With remarkable ease, Colto jumps from Pete Townshend-like confessional singer/songwriter (“Unfinished Business”) to post-emo Conor Oberst balladeer (“My Virus Crown”) to unabashed pedal-to-the-metal rocker on the great-but-out-of-place-here “Wheels”, and all points in between. Colto throws too many sounds (spoken word/drum machine collage, anyone?) into the opening mission statement/kitchen-sink synth popper “Music of the Android Angel”, but then his is an unquiet mind.
Much better is the closing “The Beginning of the End”, a haunting ballad that perfectly captures the realization that a relationship has tipped beyond salvage. The way things sound, life outside of music ain’t going so hot for Colto. In addition to matters of the heart, the press release hints at stolen audio gear. On Glow Worm, he sounds his best when he’s being himself.