Doing The Time Warp With Engine

One of my favorite bands in the roaring 90’s was this four-piece from Berkeley called Engine. Their name suited their music perfectly. They sounded like a well-tuned engine made of guitars and drums. They had that synergy some combos have that makes them sound bigger than the sum of their parts. I enjoyed watching them melt stages in San Francisco often, when the South of Market live music scene was in full swing both over- and under-ground. It was a good time for bands, and Engine gained a loyal following, recorded an album, and signed to Caroline Records. Boom, suddenly they had to change their name. Another band owned “Engine,” and I and other Engine fans were dismayed. I expect the band was too. Anyway, they quickly adjusted their name, and went on some major tours with Jawbreaker, Counting Crows and other hot acts of the time, did a few more records and then disbanded. Reunited recently to play the big “Riot Fest” concert in Chicago, they decided to book a Bay Area show as well. I have my ticket. It’ll probably sell out, so I’d suggest getting yours now if you want to go. Somewhat rare in the world of band reunions, they have all four original members, the only four guys in the band at any stage back in the day. I think that’s neat. Also somewhat rare among rock bands, they don’t do any covers. I don’t think they ever did. They wrote all of their material, and each song frames the others, creating a sort of Engine-world that you can walk into and explore. I visited there often, and I look forward to jumping down that rabbit hole on Oct. 21. There’s talk of more gigs, and I would love to see that as well, but, there’s also talk that the earth is flat, so, you know, don’t sleep on it. Oh, one more silly thing. They were called “Alternative” as a genre, as was anything with a guitar after Nirvana. I think when “Alternative” became a popular music genre name, the American music biz began its final descent into total brain-death. The band plays Rock music. Or Punk, if you must. Now that’s sorted. A great band with a name they had to change, filed under “Alternative,” with lyrics about identity crises and alienation. It’s perfect. Oh, and their guitar and bass riffs are killer. And they’re my friends. Here’s the FB event page. Bye now.

Author: Eric Din

Eric makes songs, records, and little forts for cats to play in. Founder/lifer in The UPTONES, guitarist, songwriter, music teacher and music curator, Eric blogs at except when he doesn't.

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