2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Engerica are a band who have been bubbling away in the UK underground rock scene for a few years now, peddling their own brand of "wimp-rock" in the form of the odd single and compilation appearance here and there, and have now finally managed to get a debut full-length released. About time too!
Like their contemporaries (and previous tour-mates) Reuben, Engerica write what are essentially tuneful pop-rock songs, but add enough weird lyrics, awkwardness, and strange vocal delivery to keep their music perched just outside of the mainstream.
The album kicks off with vocalist David Gardner making a random funny noise, before exploding into the minute-long punkish blast of indecipherably screamed vocals and guitar abuse that is Reasons To Be Fearful (Pt. 1)
. It grabs the listeners attention, and is surprisingly enjoyable for what is essentially an intro track.
It must be said that the music itself, throughout the whole album, is relatively simplistic but nevertheless effective. The defining factors in Engerica's sound are Gardner's vocals and lyrics. His delivery veers between spiky melodies, exaggerated talking, and full-on spazz-out screaming, all in his very distinctive voice. At times he sings in what sounds like a typically English accent, but occasionally veers into what appears to be a deliberately exaggerated American accent, possibly to accentuate certain lines in the lyrics. The delivery is effective nonetheless.
The lyrics themselves are strange to say the least! There are several "schoolboy" style lyrics, one example being "My dad says don't take chances, don't do drugs, and don't trust fat kids" from Roadkill
. As well as this, there are several lines which appear to be completely random, such as "Jesus wept and gave me a hard-on, it lasted for six days and a month" from It Was A Goddamn Suicide
. On top of this, all of the songs are filled with biting sarcasm, some occurrences more subtle than others. Ultimately, Dave's vocal style is unique, as are his lyrics, but you'll either love them or hate them. Personally, I think they're brilliantly effective.
Highlights of the album include recent single The Smell
, with its catchy riffs and massive chorus, and Funeral Song
, which veers from quirky, jumpy verses to a brilliantly tuneful chorus, building up to a furious ending. Another single, Roadkill
, is a straight-ahead rock song with a driving rhythm that never lets up, and features some of the best vocal delivery and musical melodies on the whole album.
is a moody piece of self-loathing in the form of a mid-paced little rocker, which leads into Trick Or Treat?
, possibly the most upbeat and commercial song on the album, albeit one with some ***ed up lyrics about childhood pranks, and a chorus that'll stick in your head for ages.
Ultimately, there is no filler to be found here, although inevitably some songs are better than others. A special mention must go to Arsehole
, if only because it must be ***ing hilarious to hear a crowd all singing along to the chorus of "I.... Look.... Like.... An Arsehole!" when played live.
To sum up, Engerica aren't doing anything new or revolutionary, but they are very good at what they do, which is essentially putting a disturbing twist on mainstream rock. If you like a good tune, and general raw-sounding rock n' roll, but you're fed up of what's filling the airwaves these days, you could do much worse than to pick up a copy of "There Are No Happy Endings."
I give this a 3.5/5.
David Gardner - Vocals & Guitar
Michael Webster - Bass & Vocals
Neil-Ross Gregory - Drums