Audio-visual gloomer Luke Wyatt likes to go under the name Torn Hawk, where he makes bitty electronica on proudly primitive equipment, with a bit of processed live guitar work thrown in for good measure. 'Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time' doesn't quite sum up the modestly beautiful electro-compositions he puts forward here, which feel more serious than they are playful.

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Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time by Torn Hawk
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8/10 Laurie 12 November 2014

Torn Hawk conjures up some pretty dramatic imagery doesn’t it? Even the idea of tearing up a majestic bird seems like a pathetically aggressive Monty Python sketch, and judging by the album cover, I bet this guy is gonna actually do it. The US based Luke Wyatt’s inventive names don’t stop there though, the most standout feature of the record being the ridiculous title Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time. On one hand, it’s a quirky juxtaposition that again brings up an amusing mental image, but on the other it’s plain stupid. You can work that one out.

Listening to the record actually clears that little niggle up. All of the tracks hold a very positive outlook, with Wyatt inviting you to push through the crying to the sweet breathlessness on the other side. This is quite unexpected as the cover/artist name point to a sort of trendy post-XX downcast pop dude, and to be honest I’m quite relieved. Despite there not being much harmonic variation, Let’s Cry… contains chords and instruments that Tycho or The Flashbulb would gawp at, with hip-hop pace downtempo IDM beats interlaced with chopped field recordings and shiny laidback guitar noodles. Some sounds are just downright crazy - what is that fluttery thing at the beginning of ‘Because of Mask’? How about the LSD’d 80s ballad styling of ‘Under Wolf Rule’?

All of these wavering synths are making me think that the Norman doorbell is going off. This has been a common feature of the albums coming my way, and must be Clinton playing mind games on the newbie. That aside, the real issue with this is that it is possibly a bit too easygoing, sometimes feeling a bit like a cheezy Sunday radio playlist, but luckily the Hawk quickly tears up its sounds before the moment lasts. I’ll join you for a pushup or two, man.



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