Kevin Bryan gives his verdict on some of this week’s CD releases, Toyah, “The Blue Meaning” (Cherry Red) – “The Blue Meaning” was Toyah Willcox and her like-minded musical cohorts’ second album, released for the first time in an unsuspecting world was released in 1980 by Safari Records and captures the sometimes rather incoherent essence of their distinctive approach to music making. The original release has now been hugely expanded to a 2-CD / DVD digipak by the good folks at Cherry Red, with a total of 27 remastered bonus tracks from the archives, including various live tracks, demos, singles mixes and rarities, especially the original version of theirs 1981 hits “It’s A Mystery”. A recent interview and acoustic session by Toyah himself takes up much of the DVD, along with rare BBC TV appearances of “Mummies” and “Danced” from their creative heyday four decades ago.
Gnoss, “Das Licht des Mondes” (Black Fly Records) – The future of Scottish rock will be in safe hands as long as youthful outfits like Gnoss are able to trade with such flair and energy. The quartet has teamed up with James Lindsay von Braebach on double bass to unveil their first collection of completely original material for your listening pleasure, a seductive multi-texture package that strikes an attractive balance between lively instrumentals and Aidan moodie songs like “The River ”,“ Cold Tone ”and“ Sun that hugs the ocean ”.
MG Boulter, “Clifftown” (Hudson Records) -MG Boulter may operate firmly within the Americana genre, but this talented singer-songwriter’s astute creations are much closer to home as he explores the dubious joys of a life that the British have spent soulide.Boulter paid his contributions initially as a musician on the Southend pub-rock circuit, and this seasoned performer’s latest offering features instrumental contributions from members of Bellowhead and Spiritualized, as the Thames Estuary’s Poet Laureate his low-key vignettes of contemporary suburban living served with rare warmth, honesty and charm.