Engineers - In Praise Of More

Tom Reed 10/10/2010

Rating: 3.5/5

Engineers had a promising career stalled somewhat by record label problems - their first self-titled LP was released in 2004 around the same time bands like Doves and Elbow were taking big steps in earnest, orchestral rock. But Engineers were unable to keep any momentum in their career going, not releasing second album Three Fact Fader until July last year.

So it's no surprise to see that album followed hot on its heels by new record In Praise Of More. Surprisingly the band have also gone through line up changes over this short period, most notably in the shape of German electronic artist Ulrich Schnauss joining the band on keyboards.

Engineers have always operated towards the more laid back end of the spectrum, often having the dreaded “shoegaze” term thrown at them. In fact staring at your feet is probably the least appropriate position to listen to this album - lying down staring at the stars would suit tunes like the lush Las Vega and stately instrumental Nach Hause much better.

It's rare that the band shift above anything other than mid tempo, and when they do add a bit of momentum the tunes still feel hazy and horizontal, as on surefire single Press Rewind with its solid hook and fuzzed up bass. Schnauss makes his presence most felt on tunes like To An Evergreen, adding layers of electronics and some lazily euphoric synths.

This is a diverting, interesting record, unlikely to see the band radically change their status as a cult concern. Given the energy levels displayed by the band's music, they're probably not that fussed by that.