"Fault Finders call themselves a side project, so should they be considered a contender in their own right, or an aside? If the album were a ‘real’ release, a boldly-presented ‘core band’ collection, it might not repay scrutiny, but as a footnote to other releases, `A Dangerous Road’ stands up well. It’s a clear and distinctive set of seven tracks, held together with a familiar sense of melancholy built on subtle, electronica-based music. It evokes the chilly, lonely feelings generated by a distinguished lineage of bands. From the 1980s neo-wave of early Mute releases – even pushing at least, a closer relative to Jonquil’s earliest bedroom-bound experiments, and the lysergic, slowed-down disco of ‘I Want Your Love’. ‘Acker Bilk’ is the sound of dance music with acute residual pot confusion trying to get out of bed in the morning (or afternoon, more likely) and only
the aimless ‘Fast Challenge’ feels like it could be dispensed with, even as it builds to a more satisfying conclusion. While the composite parts of Chad Valley’s sound are unabashedly retro, the ease with which they’re all slotted together and orchestrated brings them effortlessly into the present and, while we’d hate to see Jonquil sidelined, it’s easy to see Chad Valley eclipsing Hugo’s previous work.
Dale Kattack at the doors of Depeche Mode – it takes cues from the pre- and post-shoegaze blurs of sound of Kitchens Of Distinction and Cocteau Twins, and nods respectfully towards more recent outfits like The Workhouse and Rothko. Such names dropped should make it clear that this isn’t a party album. It’s focussed in its dour outlook, with a personal sounding set of songs based around solid, serious synthesised melodies and simplistic electronic drum patterns. Occasionally – and surprisingly – a
skilful songwriter’s grip of key and mood becomes apparent, as chinks of light appear: there’s a tension between light and dark that is used just sparingly enough as not to grate. Focussing on individual tracks seems churlish, as the album seems designed to be consumed as a thematic and tonal set. That might be a weak point, as it suggests a lack of standout melodies or songs, but perhaps that’s why it’s being put forward as the work of a side project. As a sample, a series of sketches, this album suggests that Fault Finders, if they ever wished to drop the ‘side’ and become a project proper, may need to tighten up and define their sound as something that’s more than the sum of its parts. There’s no end of pleasing moments spread across `A Dangerous Road’ and anything that reminds you at certain points of early Human League, the oft-forgotten darker moments of the Field Mice, and the oppressive tones of Slowdive, can’t be altogether dismissed."
Review by Nightshift Magazine
released May 30, 2011
Umair Chaudhry - Vocals, guitar, bass, programming
Marco Ruggiero - Vocals
Mixed and mastered by Umair Chaudhry
Artwork by Umair Chaudhry