Engine Summer – Back-Street Boys

Suckers for idiosyncratic hooks, irregular rhythms, and drone back grooves which nag their way into the psyche, it was inevitable that the new EP from Chicago hailing trio, Engine Summer, would have us dangling from its aberrant antics and warped imagination like a dysfunctional puppet and lusting after every second time and time again. Back-Street Boys is manna to the anomalous freak in us all; a collection of tracks seeded in the deviancy, irreverence, and contagion of the finest post punk, psych rock, and indie eccentricity known to man but a gathering breeding the kind of uniqueness which keeps us lustfully lost in the grip of music.

Consisting of Jeremy, Benny, and Ry, Engine Summer formed in late 2016 and quickly made a potent mark on the Chicago live before venturing further afield with two tours of the East Coast. Sharing stages with the likes of for Ra Ra Riot, Bodega, Acquaintances, and Baked along the way and a pair of EPs as well as their debut album has only cemented their reputation for creating apologetically catchy but maverick songs which linger long after their arrival. Back-Street Boys is the successor to their acclaimed Indiana EP, one “piggybacking off” their 2019 Dion Lunadon of A Place to Bury Strangers mastered predecessor to breach a whole new plateau of Engine Summer pleasure.

Their new offering is bookended by the band’s previously released singles, Carol’s Dead and Night School, an entrance and departure which is worth the effort of digging into Back-Street Boys alone. The first of the two more taunts than invites attention with its initial resonating throb of bass and lure dangling guitar but with the same impossible to ignore intrigue at its core. As tenacious beats increasingly swung their manipulative bait and the band’s twitchy vocals united in a just as lively and devilish static dance on the ears, the track enslaved as it stomped around with irresistible dynamics and attitude. Teasing with essences reminding of bands such as Gang Of Four, Artery, and The Fall across its more forceful individuality, the song is glorious and one of the best tracks of the past decade.

Night School similarly proved why its great success as a single, its stroll less boisterous but just as persuasive as nagging chords and persistent rhythms aligned to orchestrate instinctive movement and further hunger for their atypical exploits, Each are feasts for any with a post punk and krautrock nurtured appetite and fair to say that in between, the two tracks the enticement proved just as addictive and galvanic.

Suds follows the EP’s first track, quickly laying out its own web of spiky hooks around motion chivvying rhythms. Like a hybrid birth in a contorted fusion of The Fire Engines, Swell Maps, and We Are The Physics, it like its predecessor had us wrapped around its sonic finger before Under the Sea leapt in with an indie pop dance within a psych punk cage of compulsion to equal have us drooling.

Groovin’ on 63rd marries the renegade of eighties post punk with a similarly aged new wave devilment before embroiling it in the band’s freak bred imagination, a garage punk breath only adding to its funky disposition while Likes saunters along with a meandering Melvins-esque smile to effortlessly worm under the same skin its predecessor had already breached.

Completing the line-up is Spice Boys, a psych pop serenade as sublimely infectiously in its harmonic charm as it is in its darkly contrasting rhythmic canter. Adding yet another shade of imagination and flavouring to the release, the track seduced as it coerced; its intoxication epitomizing the fascination and distinctive enterprise which makes Engine Summer one seriously hypnotic band and the Back-Street Boys EP their finest moment yet.

Back-Street Boys is available now @ https://enginesummer.bandcamp.com/album/back-street-boys

https://www.enginesummer.com/   https://www.facebook.com/enginesummer/

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Skyline Pigeons: House of Mysteries

With a kaleidoscope of touching emotions, sensual textures, and warm hauntingly enveloping atmospheres the debut album House of Mysteries from US band Skyline Pigeons is truly one of the most mesmeric releases heard in a long time. Bringing a blend of shoegaze rock psych-pop with flushes of folk, post-punk, and psychedelic-rock the release is an inescapable immersive wrap around the senses. Within the distinct unique weave of sound that is Skyline Pigeons the additional elements of country and garage rock all combining to create a sound which cuts across the decades bringing a vibrant yet dark breath to the release.

The band is made up of two sisters from Santa Barbara/Los Angeles, Roxanne and Caroline Teti. The duo crafted House of Mysteries with inspiration raging from not only their personal musical influences but emotionally from the experience of losing their home and possessions to the Santa Barbara wildfires and the process of starting again. The tracks within the release are part of an emotional journey for the girls translated perfectly for the listener to absorb and feel with each song exploring and challenging the scars and fears borne from the devastating event. With the band completed by Andrew Harrison, Ben Potter, and Orly Gal and the album recorded with and produced by Ryan Hadlock (Blonde Redhead, Ra Ra Riot, The Black Heart Procession, The Gossip) at Bear Creek Studio in Seattle, the album is a remarkable pop rock entry.

From the moment first song The Cycle weaves its melodic way around the ear there is a sense of something special emerging to send tingles through the spine. Once the beauty of the vocals and emotive Wurlitzer keys wrap themselves around the beckoning bass, firm beats and endearing guitar strokes, the track slowly envelops the senses and thoughts building to a plateau of emotive warmth and stirring energy tinged with a soulful country rock lilt.

Off of this impressive start the following Get Up raises the bar even higher. The anthemic badgering from the song is deeply infectious as the song confronts the wrong kind of personal acceptance with a stunning mix of Breeders and Belly like grace and melodic imagination. The song is glorious and brings a deep sigh of disappointment when it ends.

    House of Mysteries is pleasingly eclectic throughout bringing diversity to fit the varied emotive thoughts and heartfelt issues dealt with lyrically. Songs like the reflective slightly haunting Together and the rougher textured pop enchantment that is Tennessee are as openly diverse and equally wondrous as the songs before them. Within the latter of the two the infectious pull is especially immense and unavoidable but to be honest every song no matter the heart and breath it expands from is as captivating as another.

The golden ballad whisper of Lucid finds the band in further hypnotic lush emotive fields, its balance and poise the strongest aural siren to find the ear and further evidence of the astounding songwriting and its realisation upon the album. As much as the sounds, lyrical inventiveness and the amazing voices of the girls, it is the seamless fit and thought brought to all aspects within the pulsating soundscapes which impresses as deeply. The alto and soprano ranges of Roxanne and Caroline belong within any myth spun by sailors dashed upon rocks, their beauty that full and far reaching but it is as much their organic mix and blend with the other instruments and skills which ignites their fullest majesty.

Tracks such as Alright and High bring more sultry irresistible splendour but the brightest sun on the album comes with Fire She Blues, a blistering piece of sixties psychedelic toned post punk ingenuity. The track is a primal trigger with continual insistent rhythms and fiery melodic imagination. As the song explores its path the energy rises and flares with scorched sonic and blues dripping explosions. Almost like a pop version of Blood Ceremony the band opens up every note and chord with a raw yet compulsive intensity to engineer the most inventive and impressive song on the album.

House of Mysteries is a masterpiece and the declaration that Skyline Pigeons and their unique talent will be bringing even greater rewards for years to come with what is real pop music.

RingMaster 07/06/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.