Check Engine is a fairly remarkable band featuring ex-members of Sweep the Leg Johnny, Big’N, and Lynx. They sound like a cross between Shellac and Fugazi… literally. Check Engine’s schtick is the presence of a saxophone in the mix. While in theory this sounds quite intriguing and reeks of possibility, the sax is actually quite annoying and bothersome.
A comparison to emo-art rockers Aloha fits well. Aloha feature a xylophone. Without the xylopohone, they’d pretty much be just another light indie/emo pop band. The xylophone defines them, though, and it separates them from their peers. It gives them an identity: “The band with a xylophone.” People remember that stuff. Same with Check Engine. Their sax gives them an identity. The difference between them and Aloha is that while Aloha’s use of the xylophone adds to the music and makes it better, Check Engine’s sax defiles their music.
Check Engine do sound pretty darn good though… at times. They rock VERY hard and the drummer is simply incredible, as are the guitar players. The singer, though, is trying WAY TOO HARD to sound like Guy Piciotto, and it’s somewhat embarrassing for the listener.
If you’re into Fugazi, Dianogah, Shellac, or other Gang of Four type bands, you’ll really enjoy this. If you’re new to this style, try Rodan’s Rusty.
Southern Records: http://www.southern.com