Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Kid Canaveral: Shouting At Wildlife - Album Review

I've talked enough about Kid Canaveral enough round here that they probably don't need any introduction by now, but just in case, Kid Canaveral are David, Kate, Rose and Scott. After half a dozen singles and EPs, their debut album Shouting At Wildlife is ready for release. After four 7" singles and a couple of releases on cassette this on is, happily, available on CD rather than, say, 8 Track.

Scottish indie pop isn't the trendiest thing in the World at the moment, but that doesn't prevent it from always having a large place in my heart. Besides, when executed well, who cares if it is trendy? I lack the hairstyle to be a hipster anyway.

How well is the execution then? Well, pretty close to flawless really. The album is a mix between the familiar and the new, most of the previous singles put in an appearance but in new forms, while the majority of the songs are new. A fresh lick of paint takes nothing away from the charm of the older songs, and does save from getting a feeling of "I own this already" that might put some off.

If the opening four tracks of this album don't make you feel happy you were either already delighted when you started listening, or you have a heart of stone. Upbeat, uplifting, occasionally raucous but always melodic doesn't just sum up the opening salvo, but it true for most of the album.
Five tracks in the first old favourite pops up, in the shape of debut single Smash Hits. I've listened to Smash Hits more times than I'd care to count, but its wit, storytelling lyrics and melody never, ever gets old. Also; handclaps. Oh how I love those handclaps.

What would be the end of side 1 and the beginning of side 2 slows things down a bit with Quiet Things Are Quiet Now and And Another Thing!! The slower, less cheery songs provide a nice breather halfway through, and leave no doubt that while Kid Canaveral do upbeat and happy brilliantly, they don't just do that.

From there on the rest of the album does a fine job mixing the unlifting and the melancholy, with Couldn't Dance - the title of which I live up to whenever it is played live and I'm there - popping up amongst the less familiar songs like an old friend, before the tender and reflective Her Hair Hangs Down and a reprise of Good Morning round things off on a beautiful, gentle note.

My hopes for this album were high, and happily they weren't just met, but exceeded.

Kid Canaveral serve up more aces than that really long tennis match did in a fraction of the time, and with far more smiles. Or if you want a different tortured metaphor, Shouting At Wildlife doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does remind you why you liked the wheel in the first place.

Need more convincing? Have a little listen to Smash Hits below.

05 Smash Hits by StraightToVideoRecords

Kid Canaveral: Website - Bandcamp - MySpace

Shouting At Wildlife is released on CD and download by Straight To Video Records on July 5th. However, if you pre-order the album you'll get some extra goodies. Get it direct from the band here. Kid Canaveral play an album launch gig at The Roxy Art House on July 3rd, tickets for that can be bought from the same place as the album pre-order. I'm even making a rare Edinburgh trip for it and everything, so I can annoy folk in a whole different city than usual.



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