This is the best release I was given to review with this batch. Engine Down are a little outfit that play very moody emo-core, a la Elliot and early Karate. What makes them interesting is that their drums are very loud (as if recorded by Steve Albini) and their singer sounds like Thom Yorke from time to time.
Demure opens with a fantastic sounding drum beat, loud, crisp, and powerful. The track “Songbird,” which is the owner of this beat, is an incredibly dark piece, replete with weird Christie Front Drive-style guitars and sad lyrics. This song pretty much sets the tone for the entire album.
Engine Down’s sound can best be likened to Mineral, if you take away Mineral’s singer and add a The Bends-era Thom Yorke. There aren’t many bands outside of the Deep Elm label that still sound like this. I like this style of melodic, dark emo-core. Most bands have given this style up in favor of Moogs and poppier sounds.
This record is one that arty types should own. If you have shaggy, dyed black hair, are super skinny, wear tight black pants with small T-shirts/dress shirts, and a side satchel, you should probably pick this up. Not recommended for the casual music listener; these guys’ music requires depression, a calculator, and black dickies.
Lovitt Records: http://www.lovitt.com