Check Engine + Solway Fifth + Deadsunrising

check engine (members of sweep the leg johnny)
solway fifth
calvados beam trio

Summer 1993. South Bend, Illnois. A basement: Check Engine, mark one, comes into being. they have one song, called “Por-San”, named after the industrial strength cleaner that was the only foe our bathroom feared. That Check Engine lasted long enough to hang out several times with Carlo, and Rossi, wreck the life and livelihood of one Vincenzo Carrasco and play one show, a battle of the bands in April ’94. That was enough for a time. The Next Six Years.

Elsewhere in the world: Steve Sostak and Chris Daly are playing in Sweep The Leg Johnny. For six years they work as hard any band on the planet recording and releasing one full and one mini album on Southern (with another due later in 2002) and touring Europe and the US one what seems like a perpetual loop. Brian Wnukowski is playing in Big’N and Paul P. Joyce is playing bass in Lynx. Come 2002 and these kids have come together as a stable line up and are set to make thier first release a self titled album on Southern. What does Check Engine sound like? Two vocalists, two guitarists, a drummer, a bassist and a sax player. Complex little rock songs. Big Star if Chilton had grown up listening to Tangerine Dream and Drive Like Jehu? I don’t know. Next question? When Paul and Brian first lock on a rhythm its, Love at first rumble. After that, Chris and Joe get to the business of weaving guitars. Then there’s the singing – two singers, one not quite the lead singer, the other not quite the back-up – twining together lines in different meters, mirroring each other in a staggered echo or matching up syllable to syllable while singing slightly different words. As for the words themselves, Joe’s songwriting is all about hate and heartbreak, and dead German intellectuals; don’t get your hopes up there. Focus instead on the love-match Brian and Paul orchestrate between their own elemental force and the goofy trickery of guitars that know each other far too well. Or the way Steve uses the sax and his voice as extensions of one another, threading through and threading together everything else.

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