Kevin Hewick's entire 1980-1983 studio output is collected on the 23-track Tender Bruises and Scars, including the entirety of his 1983 album Such Hunger for Love; his 1981 Factory single; the B-sides of two 1983 Cherry Red singles; his 1983 EP The Cover Keeps Reality Unreal; and his 1980 contribution to the From Brussels With Love compilation, "Haystack" (on which he's backed by New Order, on that band's first recording). Completists might note that it's not every last drop of his early-'80s output, as it doesn't have the seven live songs he did on the Factory Quartet compilation, but it's got everything else. Hewick fit well into the early Cherry Red roster as he was a quirky singer/songwriter, affected by new wave but not in the new wave mainstream. On this disc's centerpiece, the Such Hunger for Love LP, he offered fragile, obtusely romantic songs, often about uneasy relationships or fantasies about same. His voice hovered on the thin line between melodrama and histrionics, with a slight Marc Bolan-like warble to his voice at the most emotional points. Hewick played all the instruments on that album, which usually amounted to just him and guitar and (except for "Mothers Day") eschewed percussion entirely. It often cemented the impression of an urgent busker, sometimes of a more loungy singer, albeit one with artier preciousness than most buskers or lounge balladeers you come across. The non-LP cuts are usually more in the standard rock arrangement mold, reinforcing his status as a moody but minor new wave singer/songwriter. Rounding out the disc is an enhanced video track of a 1981 video for his Factory single "Ophelia's Drinking Song/Cathy Clown."
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger