17 July 2010

The Enright House - a maze and amazement (2007, A Low Hum)

The Enright House is the project of Mark Roberts, a young musician from New Zealand, since relocated to Chicago. It is his debut album. Exploring a very contemporary form of indie music, mixing post-rock, indie, and electronica influences (he is probably a fan of such bands like The Postal Service, Sigur Ros or Explosions in the Sky) for a result not so far from the likes of Jeniferever, Khonnor, Mantissa, or London Apartments, with a personal perspective but without bringing something totally new to the game.

One might resume and reduce The Enright House to a mimic project, where Mark Roberts explores exhaustively recent alloys of music, surfing on the hype wave of post-rock. Digital music and computer processing have removed the previous limits and this new lack of constraints can turn sometimes into dispersion and this is a default that can be sometimes noticed on “a maze and amazement”.

Most of the tracks of this album seem bland at first, too typical and often with a lack of focus, embroidering clichés and textures with a certain sensitivity but without a strong or unique point of view or direction. But slowly a certain complexity start to appears more clearly, with polymorphous dimensions and finally a few tracks are worth keeping.

“Scattering the sun like gunshot” opens the record on an epic progression, like a kite taken into growing storm, with red glowing skies as the day comes to an end. It is a great composition, even if stuck in the middle of the road of post-rock imagery, it makes me feel good and light-hearted. Dreamy and imposing, almost like Appleseed Cast can be, mixing folktronica with electric guitar this time, not so far from Khonnor, “Darkwave equals MC squared” puts the level even higher.

But the recession starts already on the pop-rock oriented “Up”, the title track is totally useless and empty and “Solitaire” stays in oily darkness. “Remember the Stillness” is a welcome return to minimalism, a piano song of almost epic proportion which clears the sky at least during its first part.

While lost in a deep fog, “a car facing mountains” opens interesting questions, and draws underwater realms, reminding me of some of the most interesting tracks of Sepia Hours. After a bland “Do Re Mi”, “On the banks of the Rhein” returns to a majestic demonstration of grace, like the best parts of Jeniferever.

“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is more like filler. With an acoustic guitar as lead, “Rain” starts pleasantly but lacks of a conclusion and the last track never really rise even if starting nicely too.

There are good things on this debut album (tracks 1,2, 7 & 9) but also a general lack of coherence and transparency on the rest of the album.

The Enright House - Scattering the Sun HD from eep! on Vimeo.


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