Leeds-based primal screamers Engine finally get their act together to release their debut vinyl of homebrewed psych-tinged electronic pop odysseys. Clocking in at over 30 minutes over only 4 tracks, these multi-segmented song behemoths explore the distresses of love via house beats, wailing guitars and a shameless use of sampling. Mastered at Ten Eight Seven.
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Together at last: 12” wax and the music of local psychedelic fools (yes, fools) Engine! This band of giddy experimentalists pack a heck of a live show -- in part thanks to great, improvisational swirls from their visual artist -- and here get to work out all of their favourite things. On the title track and lede to ‘Cucumber Water’, they do broken rhythms as trance hits and spend four minutes jamming their way to the song proper, never once sounding like an imitation of other psych bands who have played heavily with repetition. Instead, their intro takes dynamic turns, switching from a hardened rock slab into an ethereal smorgasboard of keys, sax and murmured chit-chat. They do about five different things per song: is that allowed?
Fans of a glitzy, sunrayed psych rock will be happy, but know your favie subgenre has been invigorated. “Funeral Blues” has simmering chords and finger-wagging synth oscillations, presenting its initial business as pure euphoria -- as always, they cut into something more lucid, offering a clear, twanging groove that airs out the song and lets it sit for a bit. Playing with the paradox of being a dreamy psych band and recording amongst the crumbs of your bedroom floor, “Al’s Chords” hears the band chat about hitting record before putting them back up on cloud nine.
I guess one of them likes house a bit so “Not Surprised” deftly mixes it in with their summertime bliss rock. By the end of this record you’re kinda bowled over by the band’s creativity and lulled into a state of maximalist relaxation. Honestly, what a debut. What the hell?
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- Cucumber Water by Engine
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