NEil Leyton Midnight Sun (Fading ways/Scratch) Rating: NNN
From the tongue-in-cheek faux double-disc concept to the intense spoken-word interludes and the epic dramatics of the songs' Queen-style bridges, the newest solo release from this former Conscience Pilate frontman has flashes of pretentious bombast. But don't be so quick to judge - Leyton's got a wonderful voice (channelling Nick Cave's sinister whisper on one track and Jeff Buckley's chilling warble on another), and his songwriting skills prove more than worthy of any delusions of grandeur. Leyton's also got a crew of local lights to flesh out snarly garage guitar, psych-rock theremin and sexxxed-up bass, resulting in an album that stops just short of going over the top. Poncey, yes, but definitely passable.