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THRASHING DOVES (Buy CDs by this artist)
Bedrock Vice (A&M) 1987
Trouble in the Home (A&M) 1989

Another bunch of informed modern pop stylists, London's Thrashing Doves mix and match their varied stylistic borrowings on Bedrock Vice. "Beautiful Imbalance" takes spectacular chart-ready flight; otherwise, Ken Foreman's vocals merely echo Tom Verlaine, Lloyd Cole and Violent Femme Gordon Gano in songs that often seem transparent attempts at imitating various Bob Dylan eras. Colorful but meaningless. Producers on the proficient quartet's minor album include Chris Thomas and Jimmy Iovine.

The restlessly diverse Trouble in the Home isn't any more original, but at least it has more vitality and some different second-hand arrows in the callow quiver. ("Another Deadly Sunset," for instance, draws from the T. Rex bop book.) But the music is still wholly lacking in purpose and conviction, and the lyrics' cagey religious references are too coy by half.

[Ira Robbins]