(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Engineers (2004) , 6/10
Three Fact Fader (2009), 5.5/10
In Praise Of More (2010), 4/10

The Engineers (from England) carved a niche in the revival movement of the 2000s by aiming for a subdued form of Verve-style luxuriant psychedelic pop of the 1990s. Engineers (2004) epitomized the essence of the genre with the delicate dirges Home, Forgiveness and Come In Out Of The Rain (perhaps the standout) but at the same time drained it of its vital energy. The influence of the languid melodies of Coldplay and Snow Patrol was felt on even slower numbers such as New Horizons and Said And Done. Overall, it was a monotonous experience, despite the occasional detour (the syncopated electronic beats of Let's Just See, the noisy shoegazing crescendo of One In Seven, and especially the one soaring refrain of the album, Thrasher), as sleepy strings and permanently comatose vocals did not do much to rescue the melodies from their torpor. Chill-out dream-pop.

Three Fact Fader (Echo, 2009) marked a progression towards a more vibrant and less whining sound, notably with the driving quasi-techno beat and the Verve-ian melody of Clean Coloured Wire, with the biting riff of Sometimes I Realise, which was almost power-pop by their standards, with the gallopping vertigo of Emergency Room, with the twisted swirling Beach Boys imitation of What Pushed Us Together, and with the trance-y Hang Your Head, that sounds like a whispered cover of early Pink Floyd over pounding rhythm. Alas, International Dirge indulged in the same anemic spleen of the debut, and Brighter As We Fall sank in the same sleepy lounge atmosphere of Come In Out Of The Rain before exploding in a shoegazing bacchanal. This time there was more variety and ideas, but too many songs sounded like pure filler.

After replacing the rhythm section and adding German veteran Ulrich Schnauss on electronic keyboards, Engineers penned the monotonous languor of In Praise Of More (Echo, 2010). The propulsing ping-pong beat of In Praise Of More stands out, but it is the exception to the rule. The rest is rapidly sucked into a syrupy spiderweb. The gentle litany Subtober is emblematic: despite having the best melody of the batch, it is still a pale kin of the heights of shoegaze-pop. The distorted guitar riff of Press Rewind, and the soaring synth lines of To An Evergreen feel like flotsam after the wreckage: they are just left to drift away. Nach Hause The songs are often too lightweight for anything other than background muzak.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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