(...) new album Faulty Inner Dialogue hides sensitive songwriting about selfies and self-doubt behind a shimmering façade of catchy riffs and glitchy beats.
Three albums in, the band have established an identifiable and unique sound while still keeping the courage to play around with genre, appropriating slacker rock on ‘Tragic Satellite’ and recalling the synth pop of Klaxons on ‘Lifelong Crisis of Confidence.’ New recruit Michael Craig, joining on keys and laptop, helps build upon the electronic elements which were scattered around the edges of 2013’s Now That You are a Dancer, adding melodic depth to tracks like ‘Callous Parting Gift’ which would have come off sounding a little shallow with the band’s previous setup but which is presented as a fully realised example of Kid Canaveral’s magpie approach to pop song construction.
Lead single ‘First We Take Dumbarton’, is a ready-made radio hit (or would be, if there were any justice in the world) concealing cynical observations on social media saturation and virtue signalling behind a melodic, sing-alongable smokescreen. Despite the new developments, the new record retains the core of mischievous guitar pop that defined their debut Shouting at Wildlife. David Macgregor’s wry songwriting – always sharp without being sharp-elbowed, witty without being whimsical – has matured well, though his choice of subject (breakups and quarter-life crises), is perhaps a little more embittered than it used to be.
Opener ‘Gun Fhaireachdain’ blatantly serves as an introduction to the album, featuring half-sung, half-spoken vocals alongside heavy use of electronic sounds that rise and fall, adding to the intensity of this introduction.
However, the following track, ‘First We Take Dumbarton’ introduces us to the more traditional, indie style, which is displayed throughout the album, with constant bass, and guitar notes, adding to the repetitive musical style of the track.
‘Tragic Satellite’, ‘Lifelong Crisis of Confidence’ and ‘Lives Never Lived’ display recognisable heavy guitars and melodic vocals, which add up to create archetypal indie tracks.
There are tracks on the album, that display a more electronic sound; ‘Callous Parting Gift’, ‘Pale White Flower’ and ‘From Your Bright Room’ experiment with this underlying electronic style, complementing the more traditional indie style flowing throughout.
‘Ten Milligrams’ and ‘Twenty Milligrams’ feature as purely spacious, experimental, instrumental efforts offering an opportunity for the band to display their musical ability outside their usual lyrical focused style.
Faulty Inner Dialogue is a strong and confident album, which uses space to experiment freely and maintain Kid Canaveral’s obvious talent in creating memorable indie tracks.