Last Friday, Irish post-rockers, Enemies, dropped their most recent album,Valuables.
This is Enemies’ third and final album. With each listen, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to nail down its genre. As it turns out, all I needed to do was check out their site’s About section:
Enemies surprise their listeners with every release by constantly tweaking and perfecting their own brand of intelligent, pop-infused rock, and latest single ‘itsallwaves’ is no exception to this ethic. Not content to fit neatly into any particular category or sub-genre, Enemies have continued to evolve their sound into something that goes beyond the labels of math or post-rock.
Since those labels can be broadly used, perhaps simply describing their sound will help our understanding.
The instrumentation throughout the album is mostly this textured soup. Guitars switch between clean, rhythmic licks – somehow simultaneously staccato and legato – to punchy chords to fuzzy wails. The bass is more like some fantastic steampunk engine. While the rest of the instruments fly about in different directions, it provides the constant thrumming that moves the vehicle along. If this album was a story, the drums are the punctuation. The vocals and keyboards are like the ensuing smoke after a post-game fireworks display. They float above everything. They swirl. Occasionally, they dive down and engulf you until their eventual departure into the ether. Sometimes you can make out details in the smoke and sometimes you just have to trust a firework isn’t going to pelt your face.
Reading the band’s breakup press release (posted just three days ago) leaves me with mixed emotions. On one hand, I’m sad because I just found this band (and album) and there will be no more. On the other hand, I completely understand their journey and am happy for them. If everything you create is for other people’s happiness, you’ll rarely be happy or satisfied. Some part of it must be for you. If by some weird coincidence, someone in the band reads this, I hope you know you brought some joy to at least one person.
For those who Spotify: