Engine Kid was born in Seattle, Washington, 1991. The band’s original lineup consisted of guitarist/vocalist Greg Anderson, drummer Chris Vandebrooke and bassist Art Behrman. They had all been in hardcore/punk bands around town, and all had a burning desire to create a sound that was unlike anything they had done in the past. After just a few months, they quickly recorded and self-released the “Novocaine” 7inch. Circa ’92, Behrman was replaced by Brian (Krafty) Kraft, a bassist and close friend of Anderson, who he had made music with in other bands. At that moment, the entire aesthetic and execution of sound became heavier, darker and extremely dynamic.
The power trio was picked up by local label C/Z records and set out upon recording the new music they were quickly creating. The band had two releases on C/Z in 1993. Their first offering was the Astronaut five song EP recorded by John Goodmanson. The songs were primitive and exemplified the bands worship of Slint and the quiet/loud song structure methodology. In the summer of ’93 the band drove to Chicago to record with their hero Steve Albini, in the basement of his house. They emerged with the eight-song album they called: “Bear Catching Fish.” Albini intuitively captured the band exactly as they were at that moment: RAW, VULNERABLE, & MAMMOTH.
Shortly after the album’s release Jade Devitt replaced Vandebrooke on drums. This transition was crucial in the second phase of the group. Devitt was an absolute beast, and his power helped launch the band miles beyond where they had ever been before. The sound of “The Kid” started to transform into a sound much more of their own. The three dudes were hell bent on pushing the bounds of sonic exploration to its fullest. Suddenly there was an abundance of depth within the sounds they were creating. Eclectic influences of punk/hardcore (Black Flag, Die Kreuzen), Metal (Entombed, Carcass) and even jazz (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Miles Davis electric era) were on a full collision course with the already dynamically heavy foundation of the band. The levee had broken and the resulting flood of sound completely saturated everything in it’s path.
Engine Kid toured their asses off. They were constantly on the road - playing every nook, cranny and shit-hole they possibly could. Any moment not on the road was spent focused on making their new material as lethal as possible. In early ’94 the band decided to pay homage to their mutual love of jazz/fusion and recorded three instrumental pieces that would become a split album with like minded powerhouse, Iceburn. The Engine Kid/Iceburn album showcased each groups love of jazz loosely framed by the intense enthusiasm of underground music. The album was released by Revelation records in 1994.
During the summer of ’94 the band reconvened with producer John Goodmanson at Bad Animals and AVAST! studios to record the new material that was literally bleeding out of the reinvigorated trio. The songs recorded were much more progressive, heavier, harder and more focused than past works. They even tackled John Coltrane’s “OLE,” adding saxophone and trumpet from their brothers in Silkworm. In March of 1995, Revelation records released these recordings as the “Angel Wings” album. Unfortunately “The Kid” flew too close to the sun, and broke up very shortly after the album’s release.
Here we are almost 30 years later, and it has taken every day of every month of every year of that time passed for the dust storms the band created to have settled. Maybe now it’s possible for the enormity of their creation to be comprehended.
NOW is the time to honor and celebrate the mountains formed and the canyons created.
***Original Engine Kid drummer: Chris Vandebrooke was murdered at a homeless encampment near Griffith Park in December of 2016.
In his memory proceeds from sales of this album will be donated to the Midnight Mission a comprehensive homeless shelter and homeless services provider serving the Los Angeles homeless community,