This London-based quartet opt for a sound suited to the star-gazing school of Sigur...
Damian Jones 2005-03-09
Dreamy newcomers the Engineers are one band who defiantly refuse to give in to the current trend of British guitar based groups. Singer Simon Phipps has already made this crystal clear by declaring his burning desire to avoid sounding like anyone else or anything contemporary. He believes substance is much more important than style.
Going by this self-titled debut, it's fair to say his band are a million miles away from your Franz Ferdinands, Razorlights or Kaiser Chiefs. Instead, this London-based quartet opt for a sound more suited to the star-gazing school of Sigur Rós, Brian Eno and My Bloody Valentine.
Right from the choral opener "Home" to the guitar driven "One In Seven", the Engineers have undoubtedly crafted 11 sweet sounding melodies. While the band could easily be criticised for failing to alter the pace throughout, there is no denying their ability to produce epic songs such as the floating lullaby "Forgiveness" or uplifting stand out anthems like "Come In Out Of The Rain".
Much of the album -which was put together with the help of former Tears For Fears producer Dave Bascombe - is driven by Phipps' moody vocals which are at timessoothing ("Waved On") and elsewhere sombre ("Said And Done"). Although nearly every song follows the same slow building pattern, backed up by either gentle guitar chords or smooth strings, there a couple of surprises here in the form of the trippy "Let's Just See" and the slightly hard-edged "Thrasher"; the latter being considerably softer than its title suggests, despite the fact that it's probably the record's heaviest number.
Right now there are very few albums around in which nearly every song sounds as good as the last, but this is one of them. This is, without doubt, star-gazing music at its sweetest.