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Engine 88 - Snowman

Caroline, 1997, CD, Vinyl

Sometimes I found myself wading through a lot of muck. I would be in the computer room at some deathly hour in some state of malaise trying to fill the hole by ordering some more music from the internet. Ordering anything, any random shit I could think of. Anything I thought might be good just at some desperate attempt to make the next week seem like a reasonable prospect. Anything to keep the illusion of a mind-made future in existence. Well I fucked up a lot, ordering a lot of bad records, a lot of things that went straight into "outbox". It was the time when all these pop-punk bands were on the go and so there were a lot of average records. Sometimes I would hit the jackpot though. This was one record.

They play this slightly dischordant leftfield punk rock with extreme intelligence and class. The guitars use non-standard chords and patterns that keep things as far away from Green Day as it is possible to get. It's never just some 3 power chord wonders. They put it togerher well and the production is spot on from Bill Stevenson.

Singer Tom Barnes tells odd stories in this passionate melancholic way that makes you think that the guy has lived to tell. The whole thing is mixed well, like exceptionally well, which brings out the best in the band.

Even when I was spiritually dead for a few years I could listen to this and feel something.

It is about a million times more sophisticated and poignant than the wave of shattage punk revival bands that were on the go in the US in the 90s. I mean a million times. Not a thousand. A million.

I recently read some review of this somewhere on the web where the reviewer was saying this band was limited compared to something like The Dismemberment Plan. What? Is he joking?

Reviewed by indigo on 02-12-2011

Keywords : alternative rock post-hardcore pop punk caroline

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