Enablers - The Rightful Pivot - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Enablers - The Rightful Pivot

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2015-04-10

San Francisco’s Enablers have been making brilliantly tense post-punk oddities since 2002 and arrive here with their first album since 2011s Blown Realms and Stalled ExplosionsWhile remaining an obscurity to many, Enablers have carved themselves a rather formidable aesthetic, melding spidery, slow-core stylings to explosive punk rock and poetry. Sounding as menacing as ever as they head into their 13th year together, they present us with their latest opus, The Rightful Pivot.  

It’s immediately clear from the album's sparse, dramatic opening piece, ‘Went Right’, that this band's distinctive sound remains very much intact. There’s a steadily building momentum as guitars cascade and vocalist Pete Simonelli intones, shouts and passionately dispenses his ever capable lyricism. It’s a world inhabited by troubled streets, police cars, wet matches and empty cans, the capacity for violence hanging in the air but with glimpses of something beautiful lingering under the darkness.

The music veers between intricate arpeggios and the ragged glory of the rhythm section, each song a mini epic. There’s a swagger to the band's dark edges that occasionally gives them the enviable position of sitting somewhere between Shellac’s primal chug and Slint’s nocturnal, troubled beauty.

Simonelli’s complex, sometimes impenetrable wordplay and spoken delivery won’t work for everyone but it’s a style that compliments these strange, structurally loose compositions. Highlights include the mysterious shimmer of nine-minute centrepiece ‘Look’ (especially as the backing vocals soar: “I am the sea and the land/ and I run through your hands”) and the tumbling, intimidating march of ‘Solo’.

The rolling jazz drums and soaring strings of closing piece ’Enopolis’ bring the album to a suitably experimental conclusion and you’re left wondering how more people haven’t been sucked into this band's dark, intriguing and occasionally dreamlike world. 

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