Gifts From Enola - Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind
Release Date: Originally 2006; Re-release 2008
Record Label: Mylene Sheath Records
Maybe you’ve wanted to free yourself from the confines of singer’s angst or vocal gymnastics. And maybe you’ve tried some instrumental music here and there, always thinking the same thing, “I wish they’d just get on with it already!” Most bands in the genre find no reason to rush or force anything on their listeners. They slither around like the voiceless snakes they are and make us follow slowly in their overdramatic wake. Perhaps Gifts From Enola is an answer to such problems. Songs can get up into the 8-minute mark, but there’s more than enough rock in their “post-rock” format to keep any ADD-afflicted teenagers riled up. Guitars hurtle towards climaxes only to square off against locked and loaded drums. It’s a bit chaotic and full of life. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t any of the oft-implemented “chill out” moments a la EITS (a much-needed calm down can be found following a solid five minutes of obliteration-by-sound during “Early Morning Ambulance”). I don’t recommend sitting down with Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind and a nice book or a steaming cup o’ joe; but if you’re on your way to a shooting range, sure, why not?
Mylene Sheath has done well to make this record widely available to the underground masses. After the band originally recorded the album all DIY-like in their college living quarters, a faithful few took notice of their tough and fresh take on a genre known for “Sleepy Time” mixes and late night car drives after a breakup. Gifts From Enola take their considerable musicianship and intersperse torment with technicality. “City Lights Scraped The Sky” finds guitars and cymbals crashing around to doomsday. The chaos is not without merit, because the lead guitar hops right into the stratosphere and dances quite daintily. It’s like if your little sister took a tae-kwon-doe class. No disrespect to sisters though, because mine goes straight for the nuts and she doesn’t let up until you’re down for the count. The first few listens to Loyal Eyes may startle you; “Behind Curtains Closing” wastes little time building up into its first smash-mouth beatdown. And the way the song quiets down again and then becomes a math-rock song on Meth only adds to the bewilderment. New paths are forged when you didn’t even realize it possible.
So clearly this is exciting stuff. After one listen I knew this would be an immediate joy. After 10 listens I knew this was classic material. “We Watched Them Lose Our Minds” opens with glitchy electronics and distorted spoken word as a deliberate attempt to disorient the listener. Its grungy, horror-filled take on psychadelia is not a walk in the park. But why shouldn’t a band expect a little something out of their listener? I enjoy music created with the audience in mind. After all, most of the enjoyable things in life take work. And let me tell you, following the meandering, electronic path of closer “Screaming At Anything That Moved” takes effort. Reverbed sound effects, T-S Orchestra-like composition wizardry (hey, it’s Christmas!) and guitars that sound downright aqueous in their mind-bending riffs beg for dissection. Sit still, take notes if needed, and repeat as many times as you see fit. Trust me, you’ll study Loyal Eyes Betrayed the Mind again and again and again.
Recommended If You Like: You.May.Die.In.The.Desert., Irepress, stuff that clangs, Red Sparrowes, animals that roar
my band has toured with these guys before...their live show is amazing and so is this record. i highly recommend them to anyone who listens to post-rock music. they're definitely one of the growing bands to watch in the genre.