Monday, April 6, 2020

Engine 88 - Clean Your Room LP - Red Vinyl


Caroline (1995)

Engine 88 is one of those weird bands that always seemed to be percolating under the radar, yet they were always on a label with pretty solid distribution.  What I remember most about them in the 1990s NY/NJ record store scene was that their albums were always very reliably in the used CD box at whatever store you were perusing.  That's not a knock on them either.  Some of my very favorite bands of that era were kings of the used CD box (I often wonder if anyone ever bought a Fig Dish CD that didn't have a punched out bar code).

Even though the band never really achieved big time notoriety or enduring memories as one of those great smaller bands that folks reminisce about,  they put out a body of work that holds up well listening again all of these years later.  Clean Your Room was the only one of their full length albums to get the vinyl treatment and as it wasn't in my collection, I was pleased to see one pop up on Discogs not too long ago.

Musically, they are a guitar focused rock band, like a lot of bands in the 90s were.  They know their way around a hook and have that big, crunchy guitar sound that I like so much.  When Engine 88 leans towards the poppier punk side of the spectrum, they're up there with the best of them.  When they get a little more out their and dig into some of the noisier and off center songs, I can't say the results thrill me quite as much.  That said, within the context of a complete album, it's nice that the band changes things up and isn't just cranking out the same song over and over.  This is an album worth seeking out if it didn't come across your turntable or CD player twenty five years ago.

Engine 88 - Clean Your Room (Youtube full album playlist):

1 comment:

  1. I picked this album up a few years ago. I'd like to have Snowman on vinyl, because that's a better album, but I don't think that will happen. I used to see Engine 88 in SF in the 90s fairly frequently on bills with Knapsack and The Meices. It's cool the reunited for Riot Fest last year or the year before, but i think they only played one local warm up show around it. The singer had a band before this called Sordid Humor, who were pretty good. -Noah