Sometimes I wish I didn't read as much about artists as I do when I'm reviewing their CDs. I have to admit that an overwhelming majority of the time, I get some insight about the artist and their creative process, but there are other times where little bits of information start to creep out and annoy me, and no matter how objective I try to be after that, my view of their music is sometimes colored by those statements.
Engineers are such a group that turned me off by virtue of an interview I read with them. In the interview, they talk about taking drugs (which is no big whoop), but then state that they'd probably stop taking drugs if everyone else was doing it because it would lose its charm. They go on to state that the background concert imagery that The Flaming Lips use in concert are "overproduced" and act as if they were the first people ever to have heard of a Lomo camera.
None of the above are statements that would probably annoy the average person, but after reading them I got it into my head that the group must be creating some pretty spectacular music if they're saying such things. As it turns out, though, their release is nicely done, but nothing that I've not heard before. Breathy multi-part vocals sweep up with inoffensive guitars and a touch of electronics and sort of come across like Coldplay covering Spiritualized (that is, neutering Spiritualized).
After an opening couple tracks that all blur together, the group changes things up with the odd rhythmic murmurs of "Let's Just See" and the result is marvelous as dense, backwards guitar swirl and choppy beats provide some nice dynamics. "Thrasher" bumps up the interest level a bit as well, as crisp drums team up with juicy walls of guitar that recall the better work of mid-era Catherine Wheel. Unfortunately, a majority of the rest of the album just sort of swirls through some nicely-produced, but ultimately not very engaging sonic fluff. Maybe they've been taking the placebo all along.