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neumu
Monday, October 20, 2014 
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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
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+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
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+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
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+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
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+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
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+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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Enon
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Hocus Pocus
Touch And Go
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Unlike all that silly electroclash novelty-act nonsense, you can actually dance to the recent release from Enon, Hocus Pocus — you can actually dig this. Well, I can, anyway. Because the way they bring together shiny synth pop and jangly post-punk has nothing to do with kooky fashion statements, artsy snobbery or retro fixation. Instead the NY trio are focused on their music (whodathunk it?) — and Enon write some sincerely badass songs.

The new album swings like a pendulum from playful dance beats, cutesy female vocals and spacey synth effects to feedback-drenched, guitar-heavy rock fronted by a raspy male singer. And it does so with such affection that the unique power of their contagious, inventive sounds cannot be denied. Sure they're able to simultaneously satisfy multiple sides of genre lines, but what really matters here is how they convince the rock-lover to groove to the electro-beats and the dance-lover to dig their raw, garage sounds.

Embracing a different approach with each track on the 13-song album, it's impossible (on first listen) to predict what's to come next. The band proves it can cover it all and cover it all downright well.

Hocus Pocus opens with bubbling, warbled beats and childlike, fragile coos from lead vocalist/bassist and keyboardist Toko Yasuda before bursting into old-school break beats and distant synth cries — the feeling is at once innocent and dangerous. Taking no time to introduce itself but getting right to the point, the rumbling Sonic Youth-inspired "The Power of Yawning" speeds along happily with fuzzy riffs, guitar rants and whiny croons from the band's other lead singer and guitarist/keyboardist John Schmersal.

The sluggish, Hendrix-influenced "Storm the Gates" is down-tempo, sludgy and emotional; it is perhaps the saddest of all the album's songs. Infiltrated by that heavy, heavy, bumpin' bass reminiscent of your neighborhood's low-riding thug, the minimal "Daughter in the House of Fools" takes the most advantage of that big beeping, bleeping toy, squirting out quirky noises and summoning severely infectious melodies led by Yasuda's playfully sexy wails. Conjuring The Cars, the spastic "Utz" blasts with loads of energy and in-your-face guitar while the closing title track whispers atop acoustic guitar before turning sour, like it lost its mind amongst dissonant instrumentation and chaotic intentions, then returns to the passionate, delicate sing-song it began with.

Playing perfectly for any setting, any mood, Hocus Pocus is the perfect tool for genre dissolution — not because Enon invented a new one but by reminding you why they needn't exist. Forget the genre-defining superficial bullshit — good music, like Enon's, blasts that all away while dishing out a passionate and colorful variety of sounds.


by Jenny Tatone




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