Under Review

The Dojo Workhorse

Weapons Grade Romantic (Load Music)

Review By Sarah Charrouf


Rufus Wainwright, step aside. Dan Vacon from the Dudes has formed an emotional outlet for himself with 50 or so of his favourite musicians in a project called The Dojo Workhorse. It contains a few dashes of guitar, one part trumpet and horns, another of easy percussion, a topping of lapsteels, harmonicas and cellos and is dominated by a base of soul inspired vocals and lyrics about love, love and love. Vacon obsesses about love more than Enrique Iglesias obsesses about hips. iTunes has classified this album as R&B, but clearly, it’s beauty rock.

Instrumentally accomplished as it may be, the album, a collaboration between Canadian musicians and headmaster Vacon, has turned out to be an experiment in post-teenage angst set to the strings and eclectic things that inhabit the background.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, though, so there are definitely a lot of people that would eat this up. The album is catchy and the artists are certainly skilled. They would have done well to find an old cathedral and really let themselves go on the recordings, while handing Vacon a guitar, but keeping him far from the mic. Vocals aside, the album has potential. But if you’ve ever been embarrassed for a dear but awkward friend when they say something highly idiotic to a group of babes, then you know what it’s like to endure Vacon while he wails on about getting drunk and being in love.