Monday, July 07, 2008

Engine Kid: What Life Was Like Before Sunn O)))

If you ever wondered what Greg Anderson did between stints with False Liberty, Inner Strength, Brotherhood, Amenity, Statement, Galleons Lap and Thorr’s Hammer, Goatsnake, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, Sunn O))), Burial Chamber Trio, Ascend, and Pentemple, the answer would be Engine Kid. Like Louisville’s Rodan, Engine Kid were dogged with the "sounds like Slint" tag, and while it might be true for their early releases, the band moved beyond the quiet/loud dynamics toward the end of their career. By the time the band had signed to New York hardcore label Revelation, Engine Kid flirted more with metal and experimental music than just post-rock.

Bands like Engine Kid could also be seen as a sort of rejection against the grunge scene. While the grunge acts in the early 90’s either tried their luck with major labels or broke up, a crop of younger bands formed that had nothing to do with greasy hair, thrift store flannel shirts, or 70s arena rock riffs. A lot of the younger bands came from the straight-edge scene, which, of course, was pretty much the polar opposite of the grunge scene.

Their first single came out in 1992 on Greg’s own Battery Records and, uh, kinda sounds like Slint. Recorded by Stuart Hallerman, the band featured Greg on vocals and guitar, Art Behrman on bass, and Chris Vanderbrooke on drums. Their cover of “The Needle and the Damage Done” was also released on the Excursion Records compilation tape This is My World, which featured Greg’s other bands, Galleon’s Lap and Brotherhood (both bands also featured future Sunny Day Real Estate/Foo Fighter Nate Mendel). The tape also had songs by straight-edge acts like Undertow, Resolution, and Strain; pop acts like Olympia’s Lync and 10:07; and a ton of Bellingham bands, such as Grien Cow, Fat, and Outside.

“Thigh with a Desolate Thorn” came out on the 1994 C/Z records, Three on a Tree 7” compilation. Lamestain alumni Vexed and Die Kreuzen spin-off band Wreck also contributed songs. (The record was second in a compilation series; the first record was Four on the Floor with Treepeople, Gnome, Dirt Fisherman, and Alcohol Funnycar, and I don’t think the third part of the series was ever released.)

Chris eventually left the band was replaced by drummer Jade Devitt and by 1995, Engine Kid was starting to sound pretty damn evil. They released their last single on New Jersey’s still-going-strong Troubleman Unlimited Records (2000 were pressed). “Heater Sweats Nails” has a Melvins-worthy riff, while “Husk” is a minor-key instrumental, post-rock jam. After this record, it was no big shock that Greg’s next few bands would lean even more towards the metal-side of things.

1/4 Mile Thunder
Needle and the Damage Done

Thigh with a Desolate Thorn

Heater Sweater Nails


AT said...

Interesting post. Anderson was in Burning Witch, too. I think that was pre-Goatsnake. Slow doom stuff. He also co-owns Southern Lord Recordings now.

Pretty interesting to see how he went from False Liberty to Sunn 0))). The guy's a musical chameleon.


Ann said...

Ojendyk Bros: I'm impressed. I just read the Weekly and it was so cool to see your article. You two are total grunge encyclopedias. All I have to say about the latest post is better go pull out my Lync records AND I've got lots of reading ahead of me.

Ann McNally (Jay's sis)

Mike said...

Engine Kid. I have their "Astronaut" CD that was released on C/Z. I was very disappointed with it actually, I couldn't really get into the songs for some reason. I'm snagging these songs right now and i'll give it a listen. Who knows, might be better.

Greg said...

Thanks for posting this--I still listen to Angel Wings about once a week...Hey Tom, did you used to work at

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Wesley said...

What life was like before sun? Lifeless!! haha.. Nice post though. love Engine Kid plays while on Real Flight Simulatormode

xanax said...

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