Link: Engineers – Engineers
The Inside Pulse:
One of the more underrepresented genre’s in the indie mainstream these last few years has been shoegazer/dream pop, or some combination of the two. Despite a critically rich pedigree of amazing albums, from Loveless to This is our Music, there just haven’t been many bands carrying the torch. Cue Engineers, whose musical stylings are a return to those precious months (early ’90s, pre-grunge) where enveloping rock was pegged the wave of the future.
Listeners might be quick to peg Engineers as playing to the Coldplay crowd upon hearing the opening guitar strum on “Home,” the album’s first track. Further listening reveals, however, that these Brits bathe their sound in a dreamy reverb (think Galaxie 500 without the depth), not mindless self-importance. The track gets the album off to a good start.
By “Let’s Just See,” the format is pretty much set, and the results vary for the rest of the album. “Come in Out of the Rain” is Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” sped up slightly, thereby taking out its warmth, and making it merely tepid. “Thrasher” momentarily revives the record from its slumber, with its upbeat (relatively speaking) drive and cascading chorus. It is all by the numbers after that
This album, along with recent releases by Autolux and On!Air!Library shows signs of a burgeoning shoegazer revival. The songs that shine, like “New Horizons” and “Thrasher,” make it worth picking up a used copy or downloading.
There is relaxation and there is apathy, and Engineers create both in equal amounts, making for an uneven album.
A Slowdive cover band fronted by Martin Gore, if he was strung out on cough syrup.
Reasons to buy:
The Engineers ethereally tinged rock is a refreshing change of pace from what has been released in the last couple of years.
The Engineers brand of dream pop lacks focus. It isn’t tethered enough to the ground, and loses itself in atmospherics. If you are looking for similar but stronger examples of this style of empyreal goodness, then a better recommendation would be Spiritualized’s classic Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are floating in Space or anything by The Clientele.