Exposé Online banner

Engineers — Three Fact Fader
(Kscope 118, 2009, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01

Three Fact Fader Cover art

Engineers were a band many pegged to go big, but the implosion of their label after the release of their 2004 debut threw them into limbo. The time off allowed them to slave over these 13 songs, and the results should please fans of Sigur Rós or Sonic Youth. There’s a prog connection via the band’s avowed admiration of classic Krautrock. They even go so far as to sample Harmonia’s “Watussi” on the excellent leadoff track “Clean Coloured Wire.” And both Steven Wilson and Richard Barbieri of Porcupine Tree have thrown their support behind the band, Wilson remixing the song “Sometimes I Realise.” I can understand the appeal: Engineers produce meticulously crafted and sonically mesmerizing shoegazer / celestial rock that’s alternately — or simultaneously — intense and dreamy. The songs typically feature chugging guitar, layers of analog synthesizers, and crisp drumming over which Simon Phipp offers a vulnerable yet undeniably melodic vocal (also comparable to Steven Wilson). The band uses distortion as an atmospheric enhancement, often employing it as harmonic reinforcement for the otherwise sparse arrangements. Other than the vocals, melodies are generally in short supply, though when they do appear — as on “Emergency Room” or “The Fear Has Gone” — they make an impact. Part of this comes from use of strings, which provides a stark textural counterpoint to the thick slabs of electronica suffusing the tracks. Whatever you may think of this kind of music, this is an album that burns slowly but once it gets going won’t be extinguished quickly. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Engineers

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nautilus - What Colours the Sky in Your World? – Nautilus is a UK quartet of guitars, keyboards, drums, and bass. They play excellent instrumental music that is a melodic version of mid-period King Crimson, if you know what I mean. King Crimson can...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues