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Engineers


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Echo UK Through Ada
  • ASIN: B0007YMVEW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Engineers are a Manchester/London based four piece. Simon Phipps - vocals/guitars, Dan McBean -guitar, Mark Peters - guitars/vocals and Andy Sweeney on drums. This is the follow up to last year's critically acclaimed import only, self produced mini album 'Folly'. Echo. 2005.

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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 24 2007
Format: Audio CD
You have to admit, a self-titled album by a band called "The Engineers" sounds generic and instantly forgettable guitar rock. Nine out of ten times, such an album probably would be.

Well, it isn't.

The Engineers make a surprisingly memorable debut, by setting themselves smack between slow-burning rock music and ethereal soundscapes -- think half Eno, half Beta Band. The lush pop that results is unique in sound, wide in scope, and short on flaws.

It opens on a strong note with "Home": buzzing, jangling guitars, angelic stoned vocals, some swelling strings, and delicate synth that goes from tinkly to airy. It has a great symphonic sound that not many bands can accomplish, and it does so without being melodramatic.

The songs that follow tend to veer in one direction or another: Some of them are a lot more rock-oriented than the first song. These won't win any prizes for grittiness, however. Even the hardest song on here still sounds a bit like psychfolk. In other words, don't expect "Thrasher" to live up to its name -- there's a buzzing bassline in the background, but nothing really hard.

And when they're softer... well, often they sound like Air on a hardcore day. Songs like "New Horizons" have the same delicate, ethereal sound, and the ambient sweeps you'd expect from a downtempo band. It peaks with "Peter Street," a minute of swooping synth bands that peak and then fade away.

Most bands can't really manage multiple sounds well, or blend different kinds of music together -- in this case, rock rhythms with rich sonic expanses. But the London quartet Engineers not only do this, they succeed wonderfully. The only real flaw is that some songs overstay their welcome, and could have used a bit of trimming in the last half.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
On the brink July 10 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
You have to admit, a self-titled album by a band called "The Engineers" sounds generic and instantly forgettable guitar rock. Nine out of ten times, such an album probably would be.

Well, it isn't.

The Engineers make a surprisingly memorable debut, by setting themselves smack between slow-burning rock music and ethereal soundscapes -- think half Eno, half Beta Band. The lush pop that results is unique in sound, wide in scope, and short on flaws.

It opens on a strong note with "Home": buzzing, jangling guitars, angelic stoned vocals, some swelling strings, and delicate synth that goes from tinkly to airy. It has a great symphonic sound that not many bands can accomplish, and it does so without being melodramatic.

The songs that follow tend to veer in one direction or another: Some of them are a lot more rock-oriented than the first song. These won't win any prizes for grittiness, however. Even the hardest song on here still sounds a bit like psychfolk. In other words, don't expect "Thrasher" to live up to its name -- there's a buzzing bassline in the background, but nothing really hard.

And when they're softer... well, often they sound like Air on a hardcore day. Songs like "New Horizons" have the same delicate, ethereal sound, and the ambient sweeps you'd expect from a downtempo band. It peaks with "Peter Street," a minute of swooping synth bands that peak and then fade away.

Most bands can't really manage multiple sounds well, or blend different kinds of music together -- in this case, rock rhythms with rich sonic expanses. But the London quartet Engineers not only do this, they succeed wonderfully. The only real flaw is that some songs overstay their welcome, and could have used a bit of trimming in the last half.

The vocals sound a bit stoner-rockish; these guys sound mellow enough to melt. Simon Phipps and Mark Peters often sing separately, but in some songs their vocals tangle together or harmonize. No, not in the same song. But their singing is more like another instrument, especially since the actual words are hard to make out.

The Engineers were quite correct when they said, "We don't sound like The White Stripes. We don't sound like Coldplay. We don't sound like anything current." No, they don't. Their symphonic psychedelic rock sounds like something entirely their own.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
why oh why no US release? oh just buy the import! April 18 2005
By Dan Leithauser - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Because I think that the more you know about something the more you appreciate it, I will tell you that I heard about this album by visiting Ulrich Schnauss' website [...] ("far away trains passing by" and "a strangely isolated place") and reviewing his best albums of 2004. There were a number there.. and I will tell you I have not been disappointed in purchasing any of them without even a single listen or sample for most of them. The Engineers was one album on that list. Somehow they have been categorized as shoe gazing music in some circles, and while some of the songs may fit that title I might say that I am more reminded of Verve, Slowdive, Blur, and Ride rather than the guitar driven wall of sound of My Bloody Valentine by listening to this. On first listen I did not have anything click but as it went into random play on my multidisk CD player everytime I would say, "hey what is that--I like it".. it would turn out to be the Engineers. After multiple listens I find myself reminded of the same feelings I had during learning about Verve and Slowdive. The music is similar but not fully the same.

Grinding and melodic guitars... bittersweet lyrics (a bittersweet symphony?)... the right blending of electronics and acoustics.

Apparently these guys are from London. So why oh why did I have to actually have it delivered from Germany as an import at close to $20? It was worth it -- really. I just wonder where CMJ places it when it is so difficult to get. Is anyone playing this fantastic album anywhere in the US? They should be. Haven't heard on XM... anyone heard it on Sirius? Where are the samples on Amazon? Of course, my "friend" Ulrich was right on the mark about this and so many other great albums that I never heard in 2004! No prelisten necessary!

Notable and among the most enduring songs on this album are "Forgiven" (which is also available as another mix on the "other" album "Folly") and "Thrasher". Forgiven was the released single.. that someone must be (please!?) is playing somewhere. I guess I have to move to Germany or England just to hear this stuff.

You really cannot go wrong paying some money for the import. Or go wrong by purchasing the other album "Folly". Both are fantastic and wonderful. Or waiting to get it directly from Germany (London imports from Germany OK ...now I know we must be in some strange world economy).

If you liked some of the older Verve, Slowdive, Ride, or older Blur, I assure you that you find enough similarities here to make you love a whole new aspect of this type of music.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Stealth Best Album of the Year Oct. 28 2005
By Matthew Comegys - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I picked up Engineers' album more or less because I liked the cover art (along with the stellar NME review). Although I enjoyed the album upon first listen, it slowly grew on me. A few months after my purchase, I had become practically addicted to this somewhat obscure new group.

Engineers practice sort of a 21st century style of shoegazer pop (think Lush or My Bloody Valentine). There are more electronics in the mix than traditional shoegazer music, but they are seamlessly integrated into the sonic tapestry, and not like a square peg in a round hole as is often the case with electronics in rock. The disc has a well done mix of live drums and IDM-style programmed drums. Things start wonderfully with the majestic "home," and really pick up steam with "Forgiveness" (my CD includes a rather creepy video for this song). "Let's Just See" and the not-as-loud-as-it-sounds "Thrasher" are also standout tracks. I'm a musician who records using my computer, and I unconsciously recreated "Let's Just See"- probably as a result of having it stuck in my head so long.

There really aren't any other bands creating music like this right now. Engineers have a sound with clear influences, but have sucessfully taken those influences into their own sonic cathedral.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fine, but compared to "Three Fact Fader," buy it second Dec 20 2009
By John L Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I heard "Three Fact Fader" and loved it. I found their 2005 debut first, and bought it. By comparison, much more mainstream than the 2009 follow-up. That is, more like Britpop of the 90s dusted with shoegaze from a decade earlier. ("Home" is a cinematic track that appropriately is the theme for HBO's "Big Love" series" in its 2009-10 season.)

The album's a solid one, but the songs in striving for a big epic quality threaten to dissipate into pleasant rather than propulsive sound. The tracks as they go on tend towards a sharper, bit harsher delivery. These enhance the production better than the dreamier, diffused approach that dominates this CD. "TFF" (also reviewed by me) expands the more experimental, less pop approach that's hinted at in a few songs here, and the band chose wisely this evolution.

It's a good listen and is made for headphones. Those who seek a progressive, slightly danceable at moments, and poppish style of rock may rate this higher. Doves are a fine comparison if you have not heard Engineers, who so far languish on small import-only labels as far as I can tell. This Northern English quartet deserves attention and I am pleased that they kept with their struggle and held together after this and the label troubles for their second CD. This is an obvious place to get acquainted with a band that holds much promise and I wish them well. If your tastes tend towards dreamy rock-pop with a room-filling ambition, it's an album that you'll return to.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Dreampop, with Real Dreams May 10 2005
By WrtnWrd - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This London four-piece has been compared to everyone from Coldplay to Blur to My Bloody Valentine. Their self-titled debut might remind you of all those bands and more (The Verve, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins), but the axis point here is really the much-maligned "dreampop" - that 90's pseudo-genre of shoe-gazing guitaristas that were long on sound and short on song. To me, they sound like the Beta Band with better songs and sounds. Guitarist/keyboardist Dan McBean, guitarist/vocalist Mark Peters, guitarist/vocalist Simons Phipps, and drummer Sweeney (only one name necessary!) write majestic, simmering tunes about concepts such as "Home" and "Forgiveness" that are as grand as their titles yet rarely topple over into complete pretentiousness. If some of their tracks have a tendency to float away into the atmosphere, that's not always such a bad place to be ("Said & Done" is Sigur Ros with words you can understand). And regardless of where their spacey muse takes them, their noodling is never masturbation, and they never forsake genuine emotion.


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