Formerly a side project of Fates Warning, Engine has grown into a full-fledged band featuring Ray Alder (vocals) and Joey Vera (bass) of Fates Warning, with Bernie Versailles (guitar) and Pete Parada (drums). "Superholic" is the follow-up to their self-titled debut, offering the same style of music: Catchy, groovy riffs with cool hooks, a vague grungy element here, a bit of Machinehead there, and Ray Alder's excellent clean voice.

Like its predecessor, the album starts strong. "Losing Ground" is a captivating track that shows all of the band's strenghts. Further down, however, the album becomes more sensitive and somehow simultaneously less captivating. "1 a.m.", well, this acoustic short track doesn't really work for me. Nor does the title track's lack of vocal melody. Curiously, the two ballad-type tracks ("The Perfect Star" and "Home") are the ones that sound best, with good vocal melodies. Fans of The Cure may like "Fascination Street" (a cover of aforementioned band).

The feeling most prevalent after having listened to "Superholic" is that they start off really good but then somehow taper off. And at the end of a listening session you get left with the feeling that the final tracks cause. And that is not as good as it was at start.



Written April 2002


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