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Engineers: Three Fact Fader

Three Fact Finder is the sophomore release from acclaimed band Engineers, coming four years after their self-titled debut back in 2005. Not much has changed since then, as the band have sharpened their lush, atmospheric, poppy prog music, once again delivering a dreamy wall of sound that hints at acts such as Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, My Bloody Valentine, modern day Marillion, and Radiohead. Featuring layers of jangly guitar lines, thick chords, delicate rhythms, waves of keyboards, and lazy, melodic vocals, the music of Engineers is going to be a love/hate thing with most listeners. Either you are going to love the intoxicating blandness of it all, or you are going to be bored to tears by it.

For those who will favor the former, then there's a lot to like here. Tracks such as "Brighter As We Fall" and "International Dirge" have a soaring effect that bridges the gap between the already mentioned Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, and Radiohead, complete with lush musical arrangements and delicate, floating vocal melodies. When the band picks up the pace a tad, as they do on "Hang Your Head" and the engaging title track, the music takes on a 'bigness' that is quite impressive. A layered song like "Emergency Room" has a bouncy art-rock quality that longs for the days when acts such as Roxy Music and Supertramp ruled the airwaves, and the tranquil "Be What You Are" takes the tenderest moments of The Beatles, Porcupine Tree, and Crosby Stills & Nash, and rolls them all up into into one.

Psychedelic pop music? That's a pretty close description of what you'll expect to hear on Three Fact Finder. The main problem is that most of these songs are stuck in first or second gear, and rarely make it anywhere near third, which unfortunately gives many of the tunes a similar quality, and you'll be hard pressed to distinguish one from the other after repeated listens. It's a shame that the CDs most ambitious and symphonic track, "What Pushed Us Together" , is saved for last. More songs along the lines of this one would have certainly brightened things up a bit here. For the most part, Three Fact Fader is a pleasant listen, but like I said earlier, you are either going to be enraptured by the dreamy nature of this one, or falling asleep at the wheel.


Track Listing
01. Clean Coloured Wire
02. Sometimes I Realise
03. International Dirge
04. Helped By Science?
05. Brighter As We Fall
06. Hang Your Head
07. Crawl From The Wreckage
08. Three Fact Fader
09. Song For Andy
10. Emergency Room
11. The Fear Has Gone
12. Be What You Are
13. What Pushed Us Together

Added: April 27th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Kscope Music
Hits: 1458
Language: english

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Engineers: Three Fact Fader
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-04-27 20:58:17
My Score:

It's been four years since they released their debut album but British outfit The Engineers have finally returned to serve up another hearty dose of their infectious brand of shoogaze influenced pop.

Three Fact Fader picks up where the first album left off, so once again expect plenty of lush vocal melodies, layered guitars and a liberal amount of well placed electronic textures and atmospherics. The band utilizes a rather minimalist approach to draw the listener into what is a dense wall of sound replete with an abundance of catchy hooks and melodies.

What really makes Three Fact Fader stand out for me is just how each track melts seamlessly into the next one. If they were aiming for a smooth sounding, cohesive listening experience designed to keep the listener in one place and engaged for almost an hour then I'd say they definitely succeeded. You can almost picture in your mind a finger tracing the outline of rain drops as they slowly glide down the window while the gorgeous melodies of "International Dirge", "Brighter As We Fall" and "Crawl From The Wreckage" swathe you in a cocoon of warm sonic colors. Simply put, Three Fact Fader comes across as a perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday morning.

Save for a couple of more up-tempo numbers, say for example "Clean Coloured Wire" and "What Pushed Us Together", a lot of Three Fact Fader sounds like it was cut from the same stone sonically, however that being said I have to say that I was enraptured by the dream like qualities of these songs and at the same time impressed by their flair for crafting wistful melodies that are designed to linger around in your subconscious long after the music is done.

If you've yet to experience the magic of Engineers then look no further, because Three Fact Fader is the perfect place to start.

Engineers: Three Fact Fader
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-03-27 20:17:16
My Score:

Engineers are a quartet hailing from the Manchester/London area. The band has been around for a few years having released a mini-album in 2004 and their self titled debut in 2005. Fast forward four years and we have the new album Three Fact Fader which has been out for a few months now. Consisting of Dan MacBean (guitars, keyboards, programming, bass), Simon Phipps (lead vocals), Mark Peters (guitar, bass, programming, backing vocals) and Andrew Sweeney (drums, backing vocals), the band plays music best described as dreamy pop, with layers of guitars, keyboards and programming forming a dense backdrop for the leisurely vocals of Phipps. Phipps has a laidback vocal delivery sometimes reminding me of Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree and although Engineers do not sound much like Wilson's band there are occasional similarities.

This album took a few listens, but after a while the music slowly began to creep up on me, revealing nuances not heard previously. However, from the very first listen it was apparent that Engineers know how to write a good melody as most of the thirteen songs are pretty catchy. This is not an album that will blow you away with their musicianship as that is not the band's intent. Instead, Engineers have come up with a more atmospheric and moody approach to songwriting filled with dream-like sequences of flowing guitars and keyboards.

Some of my favourites include "Clean Coloured Wire" with its pulsating drum beat and synthesized trance-like sounds and the mellow "Brighter As We Fall" featuring the restrained sound of crashing cymbals interspersed along a muted wall of sound, and as the music escalates towards the end a definite Coldplay feel takes hold. The Gary Numan inspired title track is another winner with its bass heavy electronic groove and layered guitars and the moody "The Fear Has Gone" featuring a string quartet arranged by Peters and MacBean works well. The tranquil "Be What You Are" with flowing acoustic guitar has The Beatles written all over it and the album ending "What Pushed Us Together" is another slice of pure dream pop.

Engineers have come up with a solid sophomore effort with Three Fact Fader. If you like atmospheric melodic pop music heavy on the electronics, leaning towards the dreamy end of the spectrum, you should give this band a try. You just might become a fan.




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