I knew absolutely nothing about this band prior to listening to this album. The only reason the name was familiar was due to a remix of ‘Blue Light’ they contributed to Bloc Party’s Silent Alarm Remixed. The remix stripped the song down to its basics, focusing on Kele Okereke’s vocals and the dreamy atmosphere suggested by the keys, as opposed to the rock n’ roll crescendo found at the end of the album version. Since I probably listened to the remix more than the original track, I went into this album with moderately high hopes.
Three Fact Fader is Engineers’ second studio album, their first for Kscope. If I was looking for one word to describe this release, it would be hypnotic. This is classic dream pop, through and through, with touches of shoegaze. In the vein of The Album Leaf’s In a Safe Place, Engineers have created an album best listened to either late at night or when lost in thought. Vocally and even stylistically, I can draw a parallel to M83. Just to be sure my ears aren’t deceiving me, I can confirm the two bands do share a producer in Ken Thomas.
First track and single ‘Clean Coloured Wire’ brings thoughts of My Bloody Valentine to the forefront. The following track ‘Sometimes I Realize’ is almost uncharacteristically upbeat for the album, but it contrasts well with the other, more sombre tracks. The album is at its best when embracing the spacey atmosphere that comes with their genre, particularly on tracks like ‘Brighter As We Fall’. Tracks occasional venture into more bombastic territory, as on ‘The Fear Has Gone’. What starts as a few chords on strings swells into an explosion of sound. I’d be remiss if I didn’t reference the band’s name in some manner, but true to their title, this album feels expertly designed and crafted, not a note out of place.