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SCOTT WILK + THE WALLS (Buy CDs by this artist)
Scott Wilk + The Walls (Warner Bros.) 1980
BONE SYMPHONY
Bone Symphony EP (Capitol) 1983

Encountering the line between artistic influence and stylistic plagiarism, Scott Wilk grabbed a copy of Elvis Costello's Armed Forces and blithely pushed ahead. Parts of his record are uncannily accurate impressions; the cover design and group photo do nothing to reduce the Costello/Attractions allusion. Funny thing, though — the album is really good! If you can ignore its derivative raison d'être, you'll find powerful, well-crafted songs, impressive playing and production and an overriding sense of cohesion. An unexpected but disconcerting thrill.

With two new bandmates, Wilk switched to techno-dance in Bone Symphony, whose lame five-song EP mixes the sounds of Devo, Oingo Boingo and Ultravox without distinction.

[Ira Robbins]