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Delirious With Weird

Monday, May 31, 2004  
Building Things
Engineers are four blokes from Manchester, but, aside from a (very) vague resemblance to the most blissed-out moments of Doves (and maybe Elbow), they don’t sound particularly Mancunian. They’ve certainly got nothing in common with the likes of Oasis. You could call Engineers oceanic if you liked, and you’d be right, but you’d also be missing something. The layers of shimmering keys, hazy, infinitely-reverbed guitar, heartbeat kick drums and dappled, slow-focus harmonies, timelessly decaying cymbals that typify their sound (from the three tracks I’ve heard so far) certainly add up to an enormous, dreamy balm of sound, but there is a level of the intimate here as well as the epic, which lends their music an emotional clout that, say, very early Verve simply didn’t have. Like a single droplet of water falling into a lake and sending concentric ripples across the entire surface, with Engineers one tiny momentum and detail affects all around it, both sonically and emotionally. Marking Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue and Talk Talk’s Spirit Of Eden as inspirations, there’s an obvious lineage with the likes of Bark Psychosis and Cocteau Twins, and an obvious fraternity with the likes of The Earlies, The Clientele and Delays (when the latter aren’t trading in AM-friendly La’s pop, that is). Their debut single “Home” was a limited CD released back in April, and is a wash of acoustic guitars, keys, lyrics about ghosts, water and laughter, and the kind of attitude towards tempo that suggests time is not a concern for this band. According to the website, they’ve nearly finished recording their debut album. I for one can’t wait. Well, I can, because I’ll have to; nothing moves quickly in Engineers’ world.


5/31/2004 08:39:00 am


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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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