Enablers are a band that, rightly so, are difficult to pigeonhole. Fronted by the enigma that is poet and lyricist Pete Simonelli, the soundscapes backing his eccentric narrations, brought to life by three hypnotic musicians, could be described as part post-punk, part post-rock, part post-hardcore, and part post-whatever, but that’s kind of doing their enigmatic delivery a disservice.
With a DIY approach to releasing their creations, for Enablers new album, Some Gift, they’ve hooked up the UK’s Wrong Speed Records, a label that was founded by Hey Colossus bassist Joe Thompson, which could prove to be the perfect meeting of artistic minds.
Set to be released on 2nd September, with presales starting tomorrow, 19th August, and a UK and European tour ready to commence on the 1st September, the time is right for The Shaman to bring you the compelling video for the first cut off Some Gift with the track Phone Blows Up. Now click play below, and drift into the captivating world of Enablers…
More On Enablers & ‘Some Gift’
7305 days. 175,320 hours. 20 years is a long time. Enablers (no The) first made music together in San Francisco in 2002.
Their individual histories join the dots through the major musical events in America of the 80s and 90s: the fertile Texas underground, Homestead Records, New York noise, Bay Area metal, the post-Nevermind goldrush and everything that got left in its wake.
As with all the best bands, they formed by accident. Author and poet Pete Simonelli convinced guitarists (and fellow bar-dwellers) Joe Goldring (Swans, Touched By A Janitor, Wade, Toiling Midgets) and Kevin Thomson (Nice Strong Arm, Timco, Touched By A Janitor, Hazel Atlas, YEARS) to provide musical backing for a few poems. The addition of drummer Yuma Joe Byrnes (of 4AD’s Tarnation) sparked Enablers into life, away from the cerebral idea of a ‘book project’ and into the infinite possibilities of a living, breathing band.
Says Simonelli, ‘We agreed that (Enablers) were not going to sound like much of what had already come before in the vein of ‘spoken word’ recordings: a voice in front of a droning, basically static piece of music. We wanted solid musical compositions with dynamic and tense arrangements’
They’ve been doing that very thing, collectively, from day one.
And now – when we’re seeing a boom in what the press is calling sprechgesang – there’s something self-limiting about using the term ‘spoken word’ to describe Enablers’ music as though a style of delivery of the human voice should be a genre in and of itself. When Enablers first toured Europe, the prosaic comparisons seemed to come from the world of post-rock, implying a drift and formlessness that couldn’t be further from the reality of seeing the band live.
Simonelli punctuates the thrilling out-rock of the musicians as if directing the chaos with each jabbed finger or kick of a boot, rhythms explode on a single syllable or are seemingly sucked back into their shell by a breath in the text. Goldring and Thomson constantly reinvent the wheel, using the limitations of guitar to their advantage, always surprising listeners with new possibilities. It is primal, powerful and absolutely hardcore, the product of 40 years of music-making that stands apart from very many – if not most – contemporary bands.
Over time the group has drifted geographically apart yet has somehow managed to stay together. They weathered the tragic loss of Byrnes in 2012 with a succession of incredible drummers (Doug Scharin of June Of 44, Neil Turpin of Bilge Pump) before settling on Sam Ospovat (Lydia Lunch, The Flying Luttenbachers, Ava Mendoza, Brandon Seabrook, Tuneyards) and a relatively stable line-up – albeit one now separated by state lines and oceans.
In the tradition of the punk and underground era they grew up in, Enablers have always treated each new recording as a bookmark in time used to generate resources to tour. They’ve stayed defiantly DIY with releases on Neurot, Lancashire & Somerset, Exile On Mainstream and Human Worth with each tour increasing their audience a little more.
Some Gift is their seventh LP and the first on Wrong Speed Records. To the labels ears it represents a summation of the history of the band. It recalls the incendiary power of the early records whilst being delivered with a loose, human feel that can only have been cultivated through the time and experiences they share together. These seemingly gradual changes in sound from album to album reveal themselves as revelations once fully experienced and understood as a whole. It sounds like this music comes effortlessly to the players, yet it leaves the listener punch drunk, exhausted and elated.
Wrong Speed Records are thrilled to bring you Some Gift. If you’re familiar with Enablers, you’ll love it immediately like they did. If you’re not, then now is the perfect time to get acquainted. You’ve got a lot to catch up on.
Some Gift Tracklisting:
01. Phone Blows Up
03. The Stink Of Purity
04. Suburban Death March
05. And Other Oddities Of The Brain
06. Monkey To Man
07. The Scythe
08. Willard To Kurtz
09. Year Of The Dog
Joe Goldring – Guitars, Bass
Sam Ospovat – Drums, Electronics, Piano, Timpani
Pete Simonelli – Voice, Words
Kevin R Thomson – Guitars, Lap Steel
And if you’re wanting to catch Enablers live, the dates for their UK and European tour during September and October 2022 are:
01/09 – Margate, Elsewhere
02/09 – St Leonards-On-Sea, The Piper
03/09 – Bristol, Dareshack
04/09 – Liverpool, Kazimier Stockroom
05/09 – Myndtown Church, nr Bishops Castle
06/09 – Nottingham, The Bodega
07/09 – London, The Moth Club
08/09 – Brussles, Magasin 4
09/09 – Hamburg, Stubnitz
10/09 – Berlin, Zukunft Am Ostkreuz
20/09 – Chalone sur Saone, La Peniche
21/09 – Paris, TBA
22/09 – Lyon, Periscope
23/09 – Marseille, Data
24/09 – Benicarlo, Plug in the Gear
25/09 – Zaragoza, Arrebato
27/09 – Madrid, La Faena
28/09 – Don Benito, Rio Pincon Sound
29/09 – Salamanca, M.O.M.
30/09 – Pontevedra, Secreto
01/10 – Bilbao, Muelle
02/10 – Tolosa, Bonbenerea
04/10 – FR, TBA
05/10 – Nantes, Duchesse
Some Gift, the new album from Enablers, releases 2nd September through Wrong Speed Records and will be available to pre-order from tomorrow, 19th August, over on Bandcamp.