A lot has happened in the last year for neo-shoegazers Engineers. The band finally got released from their contract with defunct label Echo which had held their second album, the excellent Three Fact Fader, in limbo for three years. Secondly, their song "Home" (from their 2005 debut) became the new theme music for HBO's polygamy drama Big Love, which fits well as soundtracking the Hendrickson family's free fall into the abyss. That's had to have sold some records.
The band have wasted no time now that they are legally allowed to Get On With It. Engineers' third album, In Praise of More, features their new line-up that now includes Ulrich Schnauss as a full time member. This is akin to when Robert Smith joined Siouxsie & the Banshees in the mid-'80s. Or when Johnny Marr joined ____________.
With Schnauss in the fold, I was expecting a few more synths and drum machines, but he seems to be a team player in Engineers. In Praise of More continues the band's gorgeous slo-mo effervescence, the kind that radiates back to Slowdive. It's a very deliberately sequenced album, building slowly and floating along nicely, gaining steam towards what is, I think, one of their best ever songs. With a syncopated beat, "Twenty Paces" is new territory for Engineers while still fitting within their guazy world of sound.
MP3: Engineers – Twenty Paces (buy it from Kscope or Emusic)
After the jump you can watch the video for In Praise of More's new wave-ish title track. Hopefully we'll see Engineers on North American shores soon. I saw them at Webster Hall back in 2005, they were good.