Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Engineers' "Three Fact Fader": Music Review

I heard of them, but as they're only on import, never heard them until on an in-flight CD player back from Dublin. They came into the rotation and I was amazed. Even on cheap airplane headsets, the album sounded powerful, produced with depth and panoramic scope that opened up the painstakingly constructed (thus their name?) tracks. I had to get this.

It's worth the price to buy as an import. It's reminiscent of Britpop of the 90s combining a shoegazing blurred wall of guitar distortion with heartfelt but assertive vocals that sweep across a booming, deeply tracked terrain. The soundscapes open up well on headphones and for what may have been a small budget and modest label for this Northern English foursome, the confident result's particularly impressive. It's more accessible than much of what I listen to in this genre, and Doves might be a fine comparison to guide you by here.

Nearly every song works, and even the less impressive or more ordinary tracks fill in the gaps more strongly than their uneven but solid s/t debut (also reviewed by me), which I like but which by comparison sounds much more mundane, if respectably made, next to this far more explosive, propulsive second record. I like postpunk of the early 80s as well as shoegaze, and this ambitious disc combines both genres without imitating them. Somehow, Engineers build their own walls of sound that while they seem familiar enough to the ear, still manage to surround you with a bold, big, vigorous architecture that should encourage them to keep striving for continued sonic heights. (Posted to Amazon US 12-20-09)

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