Record Review: Gary Daly – Gone From Here UK CD [part 1]

MusicGlue | UK | CD | 2019

Gary Daly: Gone From Here UK CD [2019]

  1. Write Your Wrongs
  2. Time It Takes
  3. I Work Alone
  4. Of Make Do And Mend
  5. Carousel Of Stars
  6. Transition/Peace
  7. Low Tide
  8. In The Cloudy Domain
  9. Antony
  10. Dead of Night
  11. Anger And/Or Rage
  12. Gone From Here

After long months of waiting, I finally pulled the switch and ordered Gary Daly’s solo album last month and took delivery of it last Saturday. Given the difficulty in buying the last China Crisis album [unless you bought it during their PledgeMusic campaign, then good luck to you] I was getting nervous about staying my hand for so long, but finances were tight. I was resolved to buy it as a birthday gift for a friend, so I piggybacked my order to save on shipping. Let me state right up front that this was another selection of beautiful tunes from the pen of Mr. Daly. Is there another artist who can drop the C-bomb in a lyric that was couched in such a supple and melodious setting that gave it such a strong protective coloration, that it would sneak past even the most sensitive of censors.

The song in question was “Write Your Wrongs,” an opening right from the China Crisis wheelhouse, but with the kind of arrangement detail that even that band didn’t normally traffic in. The big callback to China Crisis was primarily down to the reliance on drum machine/rhythm box that couldn’t help but stir memories of “Difficult Shapes + Passive Rhythms: Some People Think It’s Fun To Entertain.” That one was made then CC were comprised largely of Daly and his friend Eddie Lundon. The drumming member came after a tour pointed out the need for one on stage, and that shaped the tenor of the band going forward.  On this solo venture, Daly was obviously fine with a return to that early bedrock of the China Crisis sound – that gently chugging little rhythm box.

But the caliber of songs written back then had nothing on the years of maturation and refinement on Daly’s songwriting muscle. This time he can pull a harpist [not a sampler] into the mix and fly with it. His songwriting has also pared away the distractions and he’s much more simple and direct with his lyrics. “Write Your Wrongs” was the kind of song that any songwriter worth their salt would be kicking themselves for not thinking of first. It was the sort of simple, but profound statement that cuts through the fog of distraction to make a purpose clear.

After touching base on the China Crisis essence up front, the next song took a left field dash into the indie disco for a vibe strongly redolent of…Saint Etienne? Surprising, but true. One could easily imagine Sarah Cracknell showing up to duet with Daly; claiming “Time It Takes” as one of her own. Every detail was there. The subdued disco pulse, with live drums this time. The vintage string machine rubbing shoulders with flutes. Most of all the wah-wah synth line striking the mirrorball in your mind like a laser.I can’t say that this was a sound I’d ever heard from Mr. Daly. The one throwback he allowed was the guitar solo from Jack Gardiner at the song’s close. Any listener would be forgiven for thinking that he somehow got Skunk baxter of Steely Dan to guest as a favor.

Next: …Something Immaterial

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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