Boomkat Product Review:
Rare ‘80s pep and joy from German-in-London artist Roland Ray, seeing his sole album of new wave pop reissued by Henry Jones’ beaming label, Smiling C
Riddled with memorable hooks that never snagged upon original release in 1985, ‘Hot, Cold & Blue’ sees Roland ray pursue the glitter and grease of a life as full time musician in London. Hailing from Hannover originally, he apparently left the city after pimps attempted to kidnap his missus, and would end up living an itinerant lifestyle busking between Belgium and France until he was able to get legit access to the UK, where his girlfriend was from.
Then based in West Hampstead amid a fecund creative scene surrounded by likes of Thin Lizzy and Robert Palmer, his first group Loony Q disbanded after success thwarted them, leading Ray to pick up an auld 8-track from Brussels and embark as a solo artist. ‘Hot, Cold & Blue’ was the result, a highly melodic confection of ‘60s pop inspirations mixed with bedroom rock verve and bubbling disco that probably sounded bit out of place then as it does now, reminding the way Ariel Pink picked up the thread of ‘60s jangle and ran with it in his own way, resulting lost “hits” such as the charming ‘UK Chart Singles’ and the Blue Gene Tyranny-esque country rock pop of ‘Girl On My Mind’ scattered in the definition of an also ran album that still sounds strangely fresh decades later.