December 30, 2022

Mint Biscuit: Clouded By Obscurity + Vested Interests

Welsh guitarist Richard Thomas wraps up 2022 with two more homegrown albums: Clouded By Obscurity and Vested Interests. He can't help himself: the ideas keep coming and he wants to share most of them with the outside world. So: one album with mostly new tunes and the other one a compilation of old ones, revisited ones, and yes, more new ones.

Clouded By Obscurity
Thomas goes back to serving up melodic instrumentals for this one. The keywords are intimacy and keeping it straightforward. Kicking off with the unidentical twin tracks Alien and Long Distance Alien he sets the tone for a journey that finds him wandering around the house and its immediate surroundings. With Pine Time he takes the listener out for a walk among the trees.

The stand-out track is Moody Blues, an excursion that sounds a bit more hopeful than the title suggests.

Mint Biscuit: Clouded By Obscurity

Clouded By Obscurity is a self-released album. Buy it from his website.

  1. Alien
  2. Long Distance Alien
  3. Milk And Biscuits
  4. Le Mois De Juillet
  5. Pine Time
  6. Simple Song
  7. Shula Kaker
  8. Round The Twist
  9. Moody Blues
  10. Sad And Blue
  11. Waves At Beadnell

Vested Interests
This album is more of a mixed bag. He kicks with a trifecta of toe-tapping instrumentals - Curtains For Cuthber, Rockin' With Ricky, Sprouty's Blues, before painting himself into a corner Twix Hat Variable, a mid-tempo rocker that tries hard, but never really gels. Taking into account that Thomas often reworks his compositions, there is a fine chance that he will get it right the next time.

More Blankets Required is a companion piece for No Blankets Required from his A Trip Outside album. He does some nice call-and-response stuff in Apricot Jam, a trick that he should use more. Thomas writes in the liner notes he was bored and he just wanted to release something. Glad he did. It might be a bit uneven at times, but there are plenty of gems to enjoy.

Mint Biscuit: Vested Interests

Vested Interests is a self-released album. Buy it from his website.

  1. Curtains For Cuthbert
  2. Rockin' With Ricky
  3. Sprouty's Blues
  4. Twix Hat Variable
  5. Cry, Cry, Cry
  6. Roadmending
  7. More Blankets Required
  8. Rainflower Row
  9. Nightshades
  10. Greenstorm Psyche
  11. Coated In Mud
  12. Phase Out
  13. Gathering Flowers
  14. Apricot Jam
  15. Bugging Me
  16. Wavy Evening
  17. Heavy Petting


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