Monday, April 20, 2009

Album Of The Week: Enon - High Society




Well, Shane seemed to give me the green light, so I went ahead and nominated myself for AOTW...

Formed out of the ashes (literally - the singer died in a car crash) of cult US indie heroes Brainiac, Enon have been a staple on the Japanther stereo for several years now

Whilst hardly being 100% unique, Enon can be filed alongside Deerhoof and Blonde Redhead (in fact, singer Toko Yasuda used to be in Blonde Redhead) in your off-kilter-American-indie-band-with-Japanese-American-female-singer section. But for me, Enon have got the edge when it comes to memorable pop tunes and songwriting sensibility.

Released in 2002 on Touch 'N' Go Records "High Society" was their third album, but first with Toko on the mic. (and then not all the time) and for me, still their best. I love the unashamed poppiness, all round indie-ness and the boy-girl vocals give it that extra zip that makes them something of an American Delgados.

I managed to see them live in Shinjuku a few years ago and they had a real chemistry and understated star quality about them that made them instantly engaging and likeable.

Here's the obligatory (but rather sparse) Wiki:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enon#Biography

and of course the MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/enonmusic

Generic indie or pop genius? You decide.

22 comments:

Japanther said...

apologies for lack of sound quality and long periods of silence before the track starts. I couldn't find the songs online so I had to Wiretap each track individually from the vinyl.....i'm sure there must have been an easier way.....

saneshane said...

I've enjoyed this today.. I had a few tracks from (?)Hocus Pocus maybe, that I enjoyed but was told the album was patchy.

This is patchy in a good way.. as in you don't know what is coming next, like Mink Lungs or Guided by Voices.

My kind of experimental pop/ rock electronica .. particularly fond of the baggy drum beat on Diamond Raft.. will definitely give it a few more listens.. very good choice.

Will be back with more comments once it's sunk in a bit.

tincanman said...

I'm kinda liking this on first listen through. To be honest, first song, i thought uh ok, don't 100 other bands sound like this. But they sneak in little sonic surprises - it's like opening a Christmas pressie when you think you know what you are getting but it turns out its something you actually wanted more and will play with way longer than the toy you had asked for.

(I'm still sore at Dad about something, can you tell?)

DarceysDad said...

Well I really don't quite know what to make of that, Japanther.

It's a one-album shuffle function playlist all by itself!

Eels vs. (We've Got A) Fuzzbox, maybe? So far I liked it best when the guitar got dd-u-u-rrr-t-y, you won't be surprised to hear, but I'll have to give it another go tomorrow when I'm not so tired.

Thanks for posting it; totally new to me, so fits the AotW remit perfectly, I'd say.

Shoey said...

Enjoyable, but not as good as either Braniac or Deerhoof IMNSHO. Was hoping that this thread would throw up some hidden gems, rather than fairly recent stuff that's worth a listen. So far only DsD's pick has come close for me - & that was a compilation. This one is neither indie landfill or pop classic. Think the bar needs to be set a little higher.

Abahachi said...

I imagine they must be great fun live, but I'm afraid this doesn't grab me enough to have any particular inclination to listen to it again - but then this isn't remotely my sort of thing to start with.

Shoey said...

Reading my last post back I was too disingenuous, so apologies JP & thanks for putting this up. Liked it, but wouldn't rush out to buy their entire back catalog.

steenbeck said...

Just listening to it now, and I like it, but I'm only a few songs in. Donds for what Tin said about the seeming generic-ness of it being set off by rude and wonderful sounds. Will be back with more thoughts when I have them.

I just wanted to say that it sounds like Shoegazer is volunteering to do next weeks AOTW?

Blimpy said...

I cant remember my buggering dropbox login. Will come back to this!

Japanther said...

No problem Shoey! My take on the remit was the idea that if we all lived in one big Young Ones-style shared house, what albums we would lend each other. This definitely comes under that category for me as it's such an accessible album but relatively unknown.

Shane - "Hocus Pocus" is a it more hit and miss, but still a bloody good album and well worth checking out.

Thanks for listening everyone!

Shoey said...

Steen, well I asked for that challenge to put some money where my big mouth is. Scratching my head as to what to go with for our audience from my personal vault of underappreciated favorites, who have knocked out some good album you may have missed? Initial short list: Nina Nastasia, Thee More Shallows, Nathan Fake, Murcof, something from On-U Sound, Phillip Robuck, John Vanderslice....

Let me know? or if someone else has one lined up, it'll keep.

tincanman said...

John Vanderslice is the only one on that list I have heard of Shoey lol. And all I heard of him was some NPR shows of him live which didn't grab me because live recordings rarely grab me. But they talked him up tons and I've been meaning to go back to him, so that would be my vote. But any of the others - if you think they are good, I'm sure they are.

ejaydee said...

If you're doing the next one Shoey, can I get the one after that? I think I'm ready.

steenbeck said...

Shoegazer--I would say don't worry about the audience (our tastes are so varied anyway, that you could never please everyone). Go for what you're most passionate about at the moment.

So that's Shoegazer next week, and Ejaydee the following.

I'm still making my way through the Enon. I think I like them better than Deerhoof, if that's worth anything. I like the concept of Deerhoof, but I'm not sure I'd listen to them very often, if I owned an album. I've only heard them on the radio, though, so maybe that's not fair. WIth Enon it feels like you might hear more in it, if you gave it more listens, which is always a good quality.

DarceysDad said...

Shoey - Of your possibles, I only know Nina's stuff well. I have a download of Thee More Shallows somewhere [Duh! Try on your computer, DsD!?! - Ed.], but the rest are all unknowns to me.

Looking forward to it.

DarceysDad said...

Japanther - Old Dominion added to DsD Walkman.

Shoey said...

@Steen: Deerhoof have Greg Saunier on drums, who seems to channel John Bonham (he also produced the Sholi album, for both of you Shoey album of the month fans). They could always be counted on for a slab of genius here & there, but the last album is a real keeper all the way through. Terrific live too.

@DsD: If you know Tackhead; you know On-U as they were the main house musicians for the entire record label.

Bugger, what to go with for next week? Me & my big mouth. Help!

steenbeck said...

I think I first listened to deerhoof online because of what I'd heard about the drummer. And then I heard some songs on the radio, which I kinda liked. I don't know--upon very very slight acquaintance they have this self-consciously weird thing that bothered me. But maybe they really are weird. I should give them another chance.

It sounds like if you want to switch with Ejaydee and give yourself a week to decide it would be okay. Or just go with your gut instinct. you don't want everyone to like it, it's more about the conversation, and they've all been good so far. You can't go wrong.

Shoey said...

Think I'll go with the Shallows. But there may be a bonus album for the weekend, if I get time (& I'm not done with the Blimpy movie picks yet either).

tincanman said...

@ shoey
With a dozen(ish)people in the album of the week rota, you'll get five or six slots a year. And if demand is that great, we can always have two.

Plus there's your album of the month, someone could start an album of the fortnight, I'm thinking of starting an album of the quarterly reporting period (with an economics focus), albums of the year, album of the decade coming up in 2010.... and people say the album is dead

Shoey said...

Tin, if you can post the end of the week questions on a Tuesday, I can have an album of the weekend if I want - so there!

tincanman said...

lmao shoey