Meat not a banger

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CANADIAN rocker Hawksley Workman is hoping to bring home the bacon with his latest joint, Meat, part of a double whammy of releases in 2010 alongside Milk.
The album, the prolific performer’s 13th studio outing, doesn’t quite make the chop for me.
Production values here are high – with an impressive electronic sheen lent to his slightly glam, workmanlike rock.
But despite this Workman, real name Ryan Corrigan, is style rather than substance on Meat – coming across like a poor man’s Bono.
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Hello Moto

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AUSTRIAN dance DJ Clara Moto’s minimal dance album Polyamour has lots to love about it.
Never full on, Moto – real name Clara Prettenhofer – has a subtle house sound that could easily get swallowed up in a DJ set – on first play it may come across as set-list filler rather than dancefloor filler.
But the album from the DJ, who has a musical background in classical and jazz which helps raise her compositins above the formulaic, rather than grabbing the listener gradually sucks them in, like a nice hug.
And this delicate touch makes Polyamour the perfect soundtrack to the calm after the storm, an hypnotic comedown-soundtracking joy.

Wave Pictures new album

WYMESWOLD band The Wave Pictures have released a limited new album, Susan Rode The Cyclone.
The 10-track LP will be a limited release, with only 750 copies available worldwide on white vinyl and mp3 download.
A band spokesman said: “The Wave Pictures do not tire of playing their contagious cheek on whatever stage allows them to do so, in fact they make the most of the quiet moments between tour and tour to go into the studio and come out with a collection of cheeky and playful songs in which folk and pop come together in completely naturally.”
To mark the release, the group will be playing dates in Germany and Austria, as well as playing the Italian gigs cancelled due to the recent volcanic ash disruption.
A further release, the Sweetheart EP, is set for a June release alongside UK tour dates.

I should CocoRosie

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DON’T be fooled by the God awful cover art – CocoRosie’s Grey Oceans is worth ‘seaing’ through.
The duo of sisters Sierra Casady AKA Rosie and Bianca Casady AKA Coco weigh anchor and set sail on a voyage through a fantastic landscape – as in, a world of imagination.
For instance Smokey’s Taboo is new age hip hop, Hopscotch revolves around a 1920s piano trill, Lemonade mixes orchestral indie with electro beats and squelches, Grey Oceans is delicate introspective singer songwriter shtick, Fairy Paradise has an almost techno beat, and so on.
Bursting with invention and enthisiasm, CocoRosie’s Grey Oceans is well worth a dip.

Maia-be, Maia-be not

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WRITING a review of Maia Sharp’s Echo is one of the hardest I’ve had to pen for this blog – and not because it’s the first I’ve attempted since the birth of my new baby girl.
Even listening to the LP while grouchy, knee-deep in nappies and with bleary eyes, the Sheryl Crow-esque LP has few faults – Sharp’s vocals are crisp and distinctive, her songwriting is clever, the production is excellent.
On paper, it’s great.
But on reflection, Echo is just too safe and too middle of the road to excite me – I don’t know why, but Sharp doesn’t cut it in practice.

Sound Advice joins Sound Cloud

EYES right this morning and you’ll notice Sound Advice has a new orange button to press.
The site has now signed up to the Sound Cloud social network alongside Facebook, Last.FM and Twitter, and is accepting musical submissions.
Anyone is welcome to drop tracks in my box for consideration and they could end up reviewed or posted on the site.
Also, later today, expect a few home-cooked tracks to be uploaded…

Kevin Costner’s Turn It On a turn-off

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WATERWORLD we live in, where Hollywood A-listers can just fandango into the recording studio and put together an album willy nilly, whereas the likes of me continue to languish in obscurity.
But enough of my struggle.
Some of these stars, musically, are untouchables – Juliette Lewis’s Juliette And The Licks, Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds To Mars – but others, like Kevin Costner And Modern West, see the actors merely chasing dreams.
Turn It On, the group’s second, sees them turn out derivative Bruce Springsteen-style country-tinged rock and roll – pub rock if you will.
And while the group play it to the bone, the material just doesn’t make the cut.