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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Engine Down
A Sign of Breath EP
Day After Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
A few years ago Lovitt records was releasing some of the most engaging post-rock I had heard in years. One band in particular caught my attention, with their see-saw dynamics and shrill vocals, a perfect combination of an almost violent noise and an artistic flair. The songs were rooted in hardcore music but were obviously much more than that. The 6/8 time was always somewhat reminiscent of bands like Sleepytime Trio, from which the band partially emerged, and there was always the shrill punctuation of angst-ridden screams. I was pretty sure that Engine Down was going to push past everything that had come before and evolve into the new Fugazi, but they were slow to pick up steam, obscured by the success of label mates Milemarker and new icons such as Q and Not U. After the promise of their Under the Pretense of Present Tense debut, they expanded on their ideas in a more toned down, post-Radiohead manner with the compelling and more introverted To Bury Within the Sound. Engine Down were getting better by leaps and bounds, and they were even getting bigger, so to speak, but their contemporaries continually outpaced them, most noticeably in the media. But I have a feeling that Engine Down's time has come.

A Sign of Breath comes as a teaser to Engine Down's next full length, which will be released in March, and is technically an import, released on the Czech Republic's Day After records. There is both an initial 7" version, with two brand new tracks, and an extended player on compact disc with the same two tracks, a bonus third track, and a remix of "Two Tone", from To Bury Within the Sound. The EP version starts out with the unfortunately titled "Second of February", immediately catchy with the velvety vocals with just the right pinch of adolescence thrown in to boot. The offerings continue with "In On the Kill", the one new track not available on the 7" single and easily the most fetching of the bunch. When bassist Jason Wood sings "Have I passed your credit check?" it is hard not to resist the temptation to call this EP brilliant, and even harder to not pine for the forthcoming full length. "Retone", the remixed track, is a nice, low key closer for this quartet of songs that nicely bridges the gap from the last album and further points to great things to come from Engine Down.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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