Audio Mixers: Ken Thomas; Engineers.
Recording information: Engineers Studio, Rainford, Merseyside; Jacob's Studios, Surrey; Rockfield Studio, Wales; Townhouse Studios, London.
Photographers: Scott Robinson ; Justin Lambert; Engineers.
Sometimes bands with the most promising beginnings can sputter out and fade away before they ever get the chance to follow through, and that was almost what happened to Engineers. The British neo-shoegaze outfit released its self-titled debut album in 2005, amassing major critical plaudits and kicking off what looked to be an upward-bound career. By 2008, Engineers' admirers starting looking questioningly at their calendars, and messages posted by the band online told a story of music-biz mishaps that wound up putting the follow-up album in limbo and the band on temporary hiatus, with the members going so far as to pursue other projects in the interim. Thankfully, Three Fact Fader finally emerged, on a different label, four years after its predecessor. Regardless of whether or not the band lost whatever career momentum their debut generated, as a piece of music, Three Fact Fader fully delivers on the promise that was left hanging in the air for so long. While it's undeniable that the band bows down at the altar of the standard shoegaze gods (Ride, Slowdive, et al), they are not shackled exclusively to that template. "The Fear Has Gone," for instance, works its way up from a lazy, hazy feel to a mountainous peak of big, bold, lightning-from-the-heavens prog rock glory that's more Pink Floyd than Pale Saints, while the frothy synth lines that bubble up throughout "What Pushed Us Together" and punctuate the title track suggest that the boys have assimilated their fair share of Ultravox at some point. That said, the main order of business on Three Fact Fader is still the kind of fuzzy, layered guitars, gauzy keyboards, and warm, whispering vocals that make dream pop aficionados all gooey inside when properly applied. ~ J. Allen