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EERDERE EDITIES | 2008 | MUZIEK | ENABLERS


Biography

Those cunning, compulsive and malevolent compatriots we eagerly allow to drag us along to our willful destruction. Those little demons that flutter in our ears encouraging us to do what we know best not to do.

 

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Fitting to its name, the San Francisco quartet Enablers writes songs that are equally manipulative and encouraging to our darkest desires. The band made up of journeyman veterans of Swans, Tarnation, Nice Strong Arm and Toiling Midgets merges dramatic and flowing melodic soundscapes -- of which SF Gate calls "possibly the world's best power trio" -- with the visceral spoken narratives of underground literary veteran Pete Simonelli. It's almost as though the band's fluid and often soothing music exists to distract our better instincts while Simonelli whispers above it all, urging and lulling us into the dark, decrepit world of his words.

Guitarist and recording engineer Joe Goldring has collaborated with Swans, Toiling Midgets, and Doug Scharin of June of 44 under the moniker Out in Worship, as well as with Neurosis Steve Von Tills solo projects.
Guitarist/bassist Kevin Thomson, veteran of Timco and Nice Strong Arm, has been playing and touring for twenty years and with his own projects and has been a writing partner with Goldring for ten of those years collaborating on Morning Champ, Touched by a Janitor, and now Enablers.
Drummer Yuma Joe Byrnes has lent his unique take on the trapset to Tarnation, Broken Horse and others.
Pete Simonelli has been continually writing and publishing his efforts in underground literary journals for years and now brings his poems to the table for Enablers.

 

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Output Negative Space picks up where Enablers' previous Neurot Recordings album End Note left off, adding more soaring melody to the sometimes parched and brittle, sometimes coiling and steeped in tension. It's musically reminiscent of the dynamics of Slint and the raw neo-beat intellect of Saccharine Trust. And, above it all, Enablers make music that exists in a realm beyond the typical sing-song gestures of traditional tunes. It's something altogether as powerful and motivating as our own psyche.

 

Discography

-) 2004 : 'Endnote' on Neurot Recordings.

The New York Time Out's point of view:

From Jim Morrison to Henry Rollins, overblown egos have frequently blemished the history of spoken-word rock. Far too often, the subgenre is characterized by some literary aspirant thoughtlessly eclipsing a trickle of forgettable background music. Thus it's quite a feat that San Francisco's Enablers have turned their poetry-topped instrumental workouts into life-affirming displays of beauty and fury.

Vocalist Pete Simonelli is a gritty, observant narrator rather than a verbose, exaggerated frontman. His clear enunciation, dry diction and controlled passion lend impact and credibility to smart, hard-boiled phrases that range from explicit ("You motherfuckers are goin' to jail") to exquisite ("The ice in her drink melts quicker than everyone else's"). Fortunately, he also knows when to shut up and bow to the tightrope-walking guitars of Joe Goldring (Swans, Toiling Midgets, Touched by a Janitor) and Kevin Thomson (Timco, Nice Strong Arm, Touched by a Janitor); their moody, intertwined meanderings unexpectedly erupt into wrenching, righteous convulsions that spew fire, mud and debris in all directions. Drummer Yuma Joe Byrnes (Tarnation, Broken Horse) exhibits similar finesse, effortlessly easing out of burly fits and into restrained patter, grazed by rim shots and fluttering, elongated rolls.

Recorded live in the studio, End Note equally stresses the importance of both Simonelli's texts and the band's expressive investigations of tension and release. Enablers' first-rate debut doesn't just raise the bar for verse-infused postpunkÑit deftly rewrites the book.

Jordan N. Mamone - site.

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-) 2006 : 'Output Negative Space' on Neurot Recordings.

Indieworkshop's point of view:

I let out a big, big sigh of relief after I learned that Enablers were coming out with another album late last year. I mean, have you heard End Note? Good god, one of the best albums in the first half of this decade, hands down (go ahead, fight me on this, you'll lose). Enablers, the upright citizens of the spoken word, the artful purge of narratives and the resounding, tidal crescendo were going to hopefully give me another gem to carry way, way past the fads and forgettables in my ever-growing repertoire. The years have bludgeoned my optimism hopefulness when it comes to looking forward to new albums from my more cherished bands, but I couldn't help but wait with high anticipation for this one to come out. End Note took control of every medium that I had to play music through for a good two months, so how could this new opus be any different? I can't be? Can it? It's not. It's more of the same unparalleled material that made their name and music much, much sought after and revered.

Output Negative Space shouldn't be considered the follow-up to End Note, it's in a league all it's own. Some of the same basics are there, the chiming, sometimes fragile, sometimes stern guitars, the ample, pronounced drumming, and Pete Simonelli's gruff, yet fervid delivery yet a different tone seems to take place, like there's a different backdrop to be taken in when giving a listen. The band's made up of Kevin Thomson, Joe Goldring, and Joe Byrnes, all men with dossiers that toss out years and years of experience with their former/current bands, bands like Swans, and Timco. Pete Simonelli, the vocalist, is a well-seasoned writer/poet with just enough Bukowski, Roethke, and Steinbeck in him to balance to show influence while still keeping to his own signature execution and emphasis.< br/>
It didn't take more than thirty seconds into the opening song, "Five o'clock Sundays" to know that I was going to love this entire album. The band feels looser; more relaxed, more composed and calculating with their delivery. Simonelli's narrative of a bartender's unabating routine through a Sunday crowd of football fans and bar flies. The guitars carry a shimmering, colorful tone that gives the frontman's words more color and life. From there, a near flawless list of material continues. The clean, lucid chronicle of an early morning's charms on "Mediterranean" that only comes crashing down in a ballistic swirl of the sobering reality brought by a dead-calm night, pale and empty, only to release and back change into the welcoming dawn once again. From there, the seething confrontation of "For Jack: a Philippic" brings the album to its peak with a patiently cool opening only to buckle into a critical eruption of Simonelli dolling out a fuming, scrutinizing tirade while pairing with the loud clang of the band reaching its blistering peak at the song's turning point.

This is the first album this year that I've listened to end to end almost uninterrupted. Most will point to Slint and even June of '44 when they give Enablers a first listen, I say don't even bother mentioning them in the same breath. Enablers have gone beyond making their name and tailoring their own sound, they're in their own class.

I was worried that End Note would be the only effort from this foursome to see a proper release, but they wrangled up enough material to put out at least one more full length and I'm here to say that while there might be a close, close, close, close race with Mono's You Are There, Output Negative Space might just be the best record of this year.

Philip Del Costello | 2006-05-04 - website.

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Audio

You can listen to a few tracks here.

Pauly's Days in Cinema, from Endnote

Joe, from Endnote

Sudden Inspection, from Output Negative Space

 

Video

Short excerpt of a concert in El Limbo, à Madrid

Short excerpt of a concert in Paris

Short excerpt of a concert in the Casbah, San Diego

 

Web

-) Official page .
-) Myspace.
-) Neurot Recordings.