Guitarist/singer Tom Verlaine usually gets the credit as the brains behind Television, one of the most innovative and original bands to emerge from New York City's late-'70s punk-rock scene. But his guitar-playing counterpart Richard Lloyd has proven on his infrequent solo outings that he, too, is no slouch when it comes to songwriting and guitar mastery. His 1985 effort, "Fields of Fire," was an especially forceful effort, full of bracing and melodic songs and explosive guitar playing. His long-awaited new CD, "The Cover Doesn't Matter," while not quite Fire's equal, showcases Lloyd's many virtues.
While cuts like "Torn Shirt" approach the intensity of Fire, much of "Cover" explores a poppier side. Sure-footed compositions ("She Loves to Fly") not only boast a pop catchiness but also structures that are expansive enough to allow the melodies to take satisfying twists. Like Television, which merged cinematic melodies, the edgy attitude of punk rock and and poetic lyrics, Lloyd's music sounds unlike any other.