Review: Enablers – Blown Realms And Stalled Explosions

There’s a sense of confidence and authority in the way in which Blown Realms… comes across. Enablers are proficient in their craft – the music gushes out of the instruments in mercurial waves, while Simonelli’s vocals drip beautifully over the top and start to slink in between. To say that the band sound effortless in their execution seems inappropriate, as the energy running through this record is ceaseless, juxtaposing slower sections with livelier jams through which the band rekindle their momentum – but this definitely sounds like the product of instinct and second-nature, rich in a telepathic collaborative communication that allows Enablers to move as a single, elegant organism.

Truth be told, I’m generally quite hesitant with music centered on spoken word. Too often it leaves the accompanying band pinned right up against the wall, forced into stiff and tentative movements in order to give the lyricism an overly generous breathing space. But thankfully there’s more of a co-dependence between music and words here. Simonelli is unselfish in terms of the volume of his contributions, perfectly aware of when to let the rest of the band gallop into lavish instrumental stretches (in the case of the track “Hard Love Seat”, he’s entirely absent).

That said, his presence is a big part of what makes Blown Realms… such a storming success, flitting between self-conscious murmurs and subtly sung vibrato during “Visitacion Valley”, and breaking into more aggressive territory for the stomach-pit bellows on “No, Not Greatly”, which whiffs ever so slightly of An Evil Heat-era Oxbow (consider it a compliment). Lyrical imagery pours out in quick-shifting bursts, as slippery and disorientating as its musical accompaniment has the tendency to be. Regardless of how much of Blown Realms… sinks in on first listen, what is instantly apparent is the air of accomplishment that surrounds this release. When it comes down to it, whether you connect with this record or not, it’s difficult to deny that Enablers have an unshakable confidence in their art.