When the band released their self-titled debut album back in 2005, Engineers were greeted as one of the best new bands this country had produced in years. Their subtle blend of dream-pop and electronics was a fresh new perspective to modern music that was years ahead of its time. But since then the band have gone through numerous line-up changes and have failed to keep up the momentum that made them such an impressive name in the beginning. Now with album number four ready to go and more members dropped from the group, what magic is left in this forward-thinking collective?
'Always Returning' is the first full-length from Engineers since 2010's 'In Praise Of More' and the first without founding member Simon Phipps. Leaving just Mark Peters from the band's original line-up left to continue the legacy. While it certainly has the moments of intrigue and wonder that were sprinkled throughout the first record, this latest work does seem to find it hard to get settled. Each track seems to have such a promising introduction but never really gets under your skin to give you a full on experience of soundscapes and spellbinding instrumentation.
It's an album with a strong image but little heart that becomes as forgettable as soon as it ends. It's a perfect example of a band that has struggled with writing for sometime and while it still holds a lot of beauty in it, 'Always Returning' just doesn't have the charm to be completely smitten with it.