Wayne Omaha Let It Mellow

Toronto's Wayne Omaha (a band, not a guy) have a loyal local following justifiably enamoured with their often mesmerising live shows. They achieve a guitar-fuelled sonic momentum sometimes reminiscent of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, which is never a bad thing. Capturing that kind of transcendent jamming energy on disc can be problematic, but they do an effective job on this, their third full-length. Recruiting audio wizards Dale Morningstar (Dinner Is Ruined), Andy Magoffin (Two Minute Miracles) and John Critchley (13 Engines) to record and mix has obviously helped their cause. Despite the album's title, the band hits full speed on opening track "It's Alright," the most direct and rockin' song here. More idiosyncratic and oft-dreamy material follows, and such reference points as Pere Ubu, a less affected Rheostatics and Mercury Rev occasionally come to mind. The inventive use of such instruments as cello, melodica, trumpet and mandolin helps add to the widescreen cinematic feel of the Wayne Omaha sound. "Moonlight" was recently featured on the Goldirocks soundtrack and makes a welcome return here. Not every experiment works (the narration on "Boris The Cat" is a little irritating), but this is an adventurous and satisfying album. Give Wayne's world a visit. (Scratch)