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Some Gift

by Enablers

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Martin FX
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Martin FX spoken word rules.... Favorite track: And Other Oddities Of The Brain.
💿;
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💿; I only came across these guys recently.
Dunno how or where.
As soon as I heard the spoken poetic words and their hypnotic sounds from the instruments i was hooked.
So i found they were coming to a city I live near, Nottingham, Bought a ticket
Got to the venue and Pete Simonelli stood at the bar next to me watching the support ( didn't wanna disturb him ).
The gig was fantastic... that was my 3rd gig since the lifting of lockdown and the BEST cheers lads hope to see you again. Favorite track: Suburban Death March.
Daniel Taylor
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Daniel Taylor Spoken word post-rock. Sort of a avant-garde Rodan/Slint. Hypnotic, sometimes sinister, sometimes soothing. I can get behind this. Favorite track: Suburban Death March.
Justin Reed
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Justin Reed I wish I possessed the writing skills of Pete Simonelli so I could write a review worthy of how amazing this album is. Thanks guys this album is extremely good! Very likely album of the year for me. Favorite track: And Other Oddities Of The Brain.
RABDiamondz
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RABDiamondz Enablers make me want to start my own spoken word noise rock band.

Interested in Pete Simonelli pre-recording my eulogy. Will pay in cash or good vibes. Favorite track: Willard To Kurtz.
eldudowski
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eldudowski if you know you know, i didn't now i do, don't wait just commit to the intense poetics and elegantly jagged rhythms of this masterful band, see em live now, they'll turn your world upside down. this album is an instant classic. Favorite track: Phone Blows Up.
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1.
Sides lose. Betting sides, intuitive sides. Marriages end, elections are lost. Everyone in this equatorial world one day wakes up holding themselves, losers. The sun slowly mounts the morning sky lighting up the doorway you’ll walk through for coffee and a cigarette in the kitchen where, sequestered late with Carsten the night before, talk turned on the changing grace of bars, neighborhoods, how all our youthful indulgences & stardom tap out. Decadence is staying drunk well into your forties, up late most nights, “sitting bullshitting” in a dim kitchen and feeling thrown away by everything you should have known twenty years before. You can’t despise the sun when its light culminates in windblown autumn leaves and is swallowed whole like a ghost in clouds. It’s only reminding you to go back to Reichenbergerstr to re-light the candle in the kitchen: sometimes sides don’t lose, they collapse, and you can’t tell the difference between the two anymore. You know how the keenest people around know when to shut up and don’t have to go out of their way to prove anything? Perhaps this is what empathy truly is. There’s no urgency in much of your life, especially in writing. You can do it anywhere, which is no ultimate guarantee for “good” or even “great” work. Balance purpose with action? It’s a living. You don’t care for overly ambitious people who are always competing. But this makes you feel urgent. Competitive, overly ambitious people comprise too many telegenic assholes walking the earth, and people like you give them an advantage; they tend to win over crowds and sunder the already weak or careless with something that irreconcilably rhymes with orange.
2.
Beam 03:34
Lift the pencil again, Bibi. Poised this way over the drawing your left eyebrow arches quickly, just for amusement then relaxes; your camel lashes blink once, so slowly the movement should be scored like a beam searching out an evasive figure beneath a dark eastern sky. I’d swear that I could get away from you but all gospels of evasion lead back to this table in this beam-- the yellow hue you put to paper is a settling of divinations over our bowed heads. Maybe you’re thinking if pencil hadn’t been put to paper again, had stayed withdrawn, would Deliciosa bow as dutifully or blush under your concern? “She needs something,” you say. “The cat’s still in the bag.” But even as you continue to draw her— flesh, color, resonance-- interstitial finger raised, I’m still trying to see you into existence too. Looking behind comprehension, I see the moment I saw your gift, the snakeskin dangling out of the bore of a tree, which I doubted until I walked up to it. I doubted everything.
3.
No one’s ever quite sure what idols are up to or how the idols are abused for the sake of history’s myopic revisions. In ceremonial congress, love of self, love of country, Christian love, carnal love, compassionate love—never having done one or any of them enough, or professing them to the point of nullity where only solitude is left— even wild flowers could be idols blooming outside the cemetery, a congress of bees spreading life randomly but also by design: there is an equally disabused revision to this world, its methods and instruments are wise and inhuman. On Sunday mornings the winter parishioners are on the march: ladies in furs and knee-high boots; sluggish men trekking behind and whispering in what can only be the solemn language of sport. In ceremonial congress, they are like winter suns on cold pavement, revealing the trash up and down the street under severe skies of blue. Suspicion is the daily theme. If they ever do chance a rare look, their eyes are also severe and blue. Maybe suspicion is my daily theme. Maybe the sun isn’t an audacious up-down, up-down discovery. And maybe love is bigger and always wins the long race against its own violence and distortion. But I still want to hit someone and then kiss them on the lips, not to say sorry but I told you so.
4.
That insistent, lone goose-honk blaring across the complex-- In single-file the orderly students -- hands on shoulders in forced march-- pass the weapon-at-arms soldier in the parking lot’s outer perimeter--the austere soldier still as stone the students sluice around like river current then part from in zany spokes, clothes and hair ruffling under choppers’ blades ---the shooter is still loose. This is not a drill. They run over the lavish, green lawns backpacks flopping, a blunt show of bodies and terms-- like fresh refugees are a blunt show of bodies and terms—fear under a maundering pump of chopper blades. No sluice now—dread, yes, but a wondrous sight comes through —white kids approaching now splitting around a single Black student strangely unalarmed arms raised in mockery or in a rallying cry the choppers’ blades syncopate: pumping and pumping his arms like to pump out of his skin a past and future whim, in a manner of I am pump like I’m the only motherfucker who knows I am doom forestalled pump He is bowled around, no stone but chaos’s chosen brave child chaos will use to exalt itself once more on the dour pumping of a neck.
5.
My god, he says, Look out! Then he laughs: the immensity of the setting’s getting to the story about how his solar plexus reacts. Laid out before him is “underway” (like color doesn’t dry, in settles it), the whole scenery rising into memory like bath water slips up the body. What matters now is how one portrays the corruption. Every wind-bustled feather of a falcon banking along the western ridge of Dead Horse Point, every twig in the trees along the lip of the canyon shining in the afternoon and snapping him more awake in this grip of sight he’s now glowing in like a dog in all its middle-distant mining of a bone’s center. The corruption’s there too, in old, wedded voices that sharpen as they go up in higher commanding registers that strip him from the feet up after attributes of water and color are gone. He’s not alone, and he’s not exactly by himself, but there’s no longer any proper body to turn on all that glow turned afterglow the laws of revival will favor and build Halls for. Look out indeed.
6.
The piano player is getting bitchy. First it’s: the fan not on; what, no one knows it’s summer? Then it’s: the cables tangled at his feet. Now it’s: the rain coming in and the peoples’ scattered umbrellas, the swishing and the dropping of them at the open door-- and they just leave them there, they just leave them there, looking like a gaggle of dead storks. Newcomers, bathroom seekers—they disquiet him. And what’s a piano for? Mood. And: More than just that. And not just: that, either. It’s transformation he’s after, a perpetual altering-of. Monkey to Man, anyone? We can intuit vagaries of hotel lobbies & EST: the piano player who believes in war, hunched under his chicken-winged shoulders like an old, hungry and cold poet in his nightshirt, up in the candlelit attic, creating in spite of his airborne pissiness. He’s trained in the knowledge that knowledge is to be latched into a hold, suspended, and dropped to kill on position. This is his silence, his thinnest skin, this is his silence.
7.
The Scythe 02:01
On a bike ride yesterday I fought against a strong gust — slow work of it-- more like a churning heavy-sea chop --- hardly a buoy but a cork the wind was speaking for: Cork! Cork! Cork! steering my wheels into rubble and dog shit and the occasional passing car’s path. All at once I no longer needed the anecdotal; I didn’t need sea analogies, either just the steady annunciation in my landlubber ears— wind of the world, world of wind, blowing us all round yet failing to cleanse. I saw the wind like a scythe sweeping over us all from one pole to the other-- one sally of it in the sun, the return in a harvest moon not striking but ever ready to and soon its blade and its darling, the wind swinging and swinging again to a mottled tune of siren and finch.
8.
I don’t turn on a light till noon. A storm’s come in from the south, blowing the oregano down. It’s dark inside and outside, but it feels as warm and ironically pleasing as her face in the morning after sleeplessness and all the acceptance of worry: it takes the esurience of eyelashes to quell and break up tears, but it takes a mother’s love to remain quiet. My cigarettes get drenched in a few seconds if I leave them on the sill. I dry them in the microwave. The wind blows hard and directly against the window like laughter looking in. I eat blackberries. I eat yogurt and meats, greens and grains, and drink much, much wine among friends dead or imagined, in tribute to a bountiful luxury of souls to throw my arms around and then ignore. Still the wind blows hard, predominating from one direction but blowing eventualities in all other directions too difficult to trace. Willard to Kurtz: I see no method, sir…. I keep calling out to myself, returning to the rumble of blood in my ears, the signaling voice Lorca called the shipwrecked blood the sleepless hordes came staggering through. That was 90 years ago. Today, one of a crew of tree-cutters looks up at a BLM sign in a window. Laughing, he says, “Got another camera on us, yo.” And Angie, departed many weeks back-- I keep seeing the flowers we tossed not landing on the passing hearse but blowing away ecstatically, like the skies over Mumbai were ecstatic, like the waters of Venice were clear.
9.
You’re doing it all over again, strangely and askance, airport to train, train to bus to street and on up the flights of stairs to a door, thousands of miles covered in half a day. You dreamed of a lone boat’s light on the sea, its comforting glow trolling glassy, still waters and: you woke up. You saw nothing, found nothing, felt aphasic even though the words—you knew—were passing just below that dreamboat. Now you’re here, red-eyed, zoomed in on without a gift or a true purpose. Already you’re wistful, pornographically so, the end words falling into place over a brink you’ve crossed many times only to chastise yourself and broaden your vocabulary. Some gift. But on you go repeating, repeating, repeating, big Petey, little Petey, irregular Petey. It’s January. We’re at the kitchen table. You already know how it all shakes out before the actual fight occurs over tacos and too many bottles of Pacifico: a thoughtless power of snow throwing up its jubilant arms over the windy streets, the same arms she will walk away through, walking as them, avoided and avoiding, as she goes up the street and into the air, burdens of arms, arms, arms, without a room or consideration. Her line of escape is sealed, and she looks back just one time before the disintegration. You’re not there either, checking the mail.

about

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.

credits

released September 2, 2022

Joe Goldring – Guitars, Bass
Sam Ospovat – Drums, Electronics, Piano, Timpani
Pete Simonelli – Voice, Words
Kevin R Thomson – Guitars, Lap Steel

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Enablers

Band Members: Joe Goldring (former Swans, Toiling Midgets, Touched by a Janitor) on guitar; Kevin Robert Thomson (former Nice Strong Arm, Timco, Touched by a Janitor, now Hazel Atlas) also on guitar; poet, writer, and narrator Pete Simonelli on vocals. Rounding out the line-up is drummer Sam Ospovat (Ava Mendoza, Brendan Seabrook, tUnE-yArDs, William Winant). ... more

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