David Kilgour

A Feather in the Engine

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David Kilgour's fourth solo record is a wondrous listen that tosses jangling pop and psychedelia with such ease that you'd be forgiven for thinking he could do this in his sleep. Opening with an expansive instrumental that sifts through several layers of guitar overdubs, you are introduced to Kilgour's homemade guitar psychedelia, and it's an instantly familiar and especially welcome sound. The majority of the rest of the record is made up of twisted, perfectly imperfect pop songs and the more driving, droning Velvet Underground-style songs that he's been perfecting ever since the Clean delivered the goods with "Point That Thing Somewhere Else" back in 1981. The record may have its uneven moments, but there are moments of transcendence found in tracks like the pop forms of "Slippery Slide" where the shuffling, breaking vocals and shambling folk rhythms find their niche. "Today Is Gonna Be Mine" is another highlight wherein singalong optimism and a looped drum track manage to coexist triumphantly. The attention to detail in presenting these fractured acoustic guitars and melodies is what sets this apart from most releases by the Clean, who seem to get by on gravity's own pull. Kilgour's solo album shows that he's able to make specific segments of songs run from being interesting to just plain amazing, but the specifics are also what keep the album from being spectacular. That said, there is a ragged, clunky beauty that runs throughout the record (and runs throughout most releases that Kilgour has been involved with), adding further proof to the notion that David Kilgour is one of the finer guitarists to come out of the post-punk school of pop music.

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