Friday, August 24, 2007

FDF Volume 1: Issue 66: June of 44 - Engine Takes to the Water

Album - Engine Takes to Water
Artist - June of 44
Key Players - Fred Erskine - bass, Sean Meadows - vocals and guitar, Doug Scharin - drums, Jeff Mueller vocals and guitar
Produced By - James Murphy

Release Date - June 20, 1995

Overview - This is the debut album from Louisville Kentucky band June of 44. The band would slowly garner attention of the indie rock under ground over a few short years. Fans of "math rock" embraced the band for the complexity of the music with odd tempo rhythms. Perhaps a little ahead of their time the band would dissolve five years later.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- "Have a Safe Trip, Dear" is a slow rolling up track opener. The lyrics on this track, and virtually all the tracks, is more "spoken" than sung. The guitars chime over the top, only for everything to stop abruptly, and then re-started with a single guitar and a scream to bring everyone back into the track. It feels like 2 songs (it is also an 8+ minute long song) so its easy to do that. "June Miller" (partially where the band got its name) begins with a dual guitar matching each other on the riff, bass seems buried at the outset, and sadly it remains a trend through the record, its not as "up" as some may like. Pale Horse Sailor - the guitar gets a buzz saw tap and the ride cymbal washes over the top. Again the lyrics are more spoken than sung. The band ebbs and flows at the outset, teasing you with the moment of eruption and with roll down the drum kit it starts..but stops almost on a dime, and resumes the ride cymbal. It never fully explodes as you'd expect (or hope) but a great track. "Midel" opens with more urgency, the band wastes little time in setting off the chop chop pace. The drums are heavy on the track and the guitars both seem to be doing their own thing. As the "chorus" is reached there is a great howl and the band strikes a great groove (part of me wishes it was held through the track but hey). It does that marvelous 'start/stop' thing at least twice on this track as well. A single guitar with bass starts up "I Get My Kicks for Your". The spoken lyrics we are used to by this point start up almost immediatly. They are hard to hear, but the lyrics/singing, really take a backseat on the whole record. "Mooch" has a cool guitar riff that is repeated, that is almost "bubbly" then it will crunch back down. A quick start/stop a few times, once more, adds to the charm and appeal of the track....whoa, where are we going..ahh right back at it. Perfect. Also, part of the charm is a lot of the record seems to blend track to track. Case in point is how it rolls to "Take it With a Grain of Salt". The buzzy guitar is the highlight on this track. The track changes directions a fair number of times but its always fresh. "Sink is Busted" closes out the album. For the first time you can hear "some" bass as it swoops under the guitars during the intro. Its a quieter song, but complements the whole album nicley.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 2000 and each has gone on to a series of other projects. The Shipping News is one of the most long running projects.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I'll admit, I found out about this band after they disbanded.

The band on their label page (Touch and Go)
Fan Site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

***Mp3's have been removed Sept 27, 2007 1:30 ET****

Take it with a Grain of Salt

Tracks take from Engine Takes to The Water which you can buy here or here (and other places too)

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


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