I am going to reiterate one main point throughout the course of this review. It is simply this: go see Engineers. They are a phenomenal live band, and you need to see them. Got it? Last night I made the trek out to Brooklyn to catch Engineers’ first performance of their east coast tour. Southpaw was the perfect venue for such a show, providing just the right atmosphere for their cinematic music.
I have seen the term cinematic in describing bands before, but after seeing Engineers live, I think they fit that description better than 95% of the other bands out there. Engineers’ songs read like an elaborate movie script, with every note chosen to create scenes, making their live shows the audio equivalent of a motion picture masterpiece. Every cymbal crash, keyboard note, guitar strum, wave of feedback, every single chord is perfectly placed. Their epic songs take you above the mountains into the clouds, sometimes the white puffy kind but occasionally you soar right into the heart of a thunderstorm.
Their debut, self-titled album is easily one of the finest releases of the year. I wasn’t sure how their music would translate live, and this UK band proved to me that they are just as brilliant of a live act as they are in the studio. The songs take on a more aggressive rock sound than they do on the album. Tossing the Beta Band similarities aside, frontman Simon Phipps takes his band to a whole new level on stage, sounding as if Kevin Shields took over Doves and listened to hours of Oceansize. The result last night was forty-five minutes of huge, beautifully powerful songs that stunned even the most skeptical music snob in the room.
Highlights of the set included “Lets Just See” and “One In Seven”. My ears are still ringing from the sheer decibel power of “One In Seven”, but holy shit was it worth it. This band makes some of the most gorgeous noise I have ever heard. Noticeably absent were the band’s first few singles, including “Home” and “Come In Out Of The Rain”. Perhaps they are just saving those for their upcoming dates with Bloc Party. Which brings me to that point mentioned in the first paragraph: go see Engineers.
Engineers are performing several more times in the east coast, so you have no excuse to miss this band. If you are attending either of the NYC Bloc Party shows at Webster Hall, get there early to see this amazing band. You can also catch them in Washington DC on June 16 with Bloc Party, June 17 back in NYC at the Mercury Lounge and on June 18 in Philly at Trocadeo. Remember: go see Engineers.
Oh yeah, and if you happen to get a chance to meet Simon Phipps, ask him about his women’s trousers.