3. Far From Now
5. Taken In
8. Second of February
9. Closed Call
10. Relief Sketch
After growing steadily behind two critically embraced and well-received albums, Engine Down present Demure, a full-length that will surprise their most ardent fans yet remain inviting and accessible to those unfamiliar with their efforts to date. Demure captures an intriguing level of introspection only subtly hinted at in previous work, and the underlying pattern throughout the album is efficiency. The group's approach towards their third full-length is that of repetitious, droning guitars complemented by simplistic syncopation. The soaring, reedy vocals of Keeley Davis stand monolithic and solitary, anchors for many songs on Demure. For Engine Down to wrench such complex passion out of a self-imposed limited sonic palette is truly an accomplishment.
However, to dismiss Demure as a somber, sullen, or understated work would be an injustice. The group's most recent metamorphosis removes the volatile flare of earlier incarnations, and the energy once used to produce the bright flash of earlier albums now is harnessed for an urgency underlying each part of the album. This makes Demure more than a mere collection of ten songs. Engine Down smartly dares the listener to find the complexities mired within the full-length by defacing many of the expected guides of dynamic contrast or bombastic yells typically used to convey earnestness or passion.
The beauty of this third full-length is its deceptive plainness, allowing for different interpretations upon the first or the tenth listen. Casual and knowledgeable listeners alike will find the steady rhythmic blink and contemplative drive alluring. Demure is a hypnotic, gorgeously crafted venture created by four individuals who realize that sometimes the best way to showcase talent is to subdue it.