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Album review: 'Much Much Nice' 

Aweful Kanawful

'Much Much Nice'

Self-released

awefulkanawful.bandcamp.com

When I first met Austin Lake, a k a Aweful Kanawful, he commandeered the proceedings by setting himself on fire. No shit, on fire. On his new album, "Much Much Nice," the fidelity runs high — higher than on previous outings. And the man is still on fire — from the 70s-style funk and soul on cuts such "I Wanna Be Back" to the Elvis Costello-flavored "Calico Girl" and "Do You Want My Love." The latter is just a great friggin' song that defies definition or simile. But "Stranded" is the ultimate in maximum go-go and freaked-out guitar. There are 14 songs in all, and they are all hits. This is the direction artists like Beck hint at heading toward, stopping short of the self-immolation.

Though the new album doesn't come out until April, Aweful Kanawful will play some of these new songs at Thievin' Stephen's Mural Launch Party on Friday, February 14, 9 p.m. at Riot Room Rochester, 350 East Avenue. $7, bring a date and get $2 discount. Retail and DJ Lovv Lee will also perform.

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