Space apes and unclean yearning: Enos live - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #131

Enos's Chris Rizzanski better
red than dead
So I’m sitting here in this stinking little room, looking at an evening of a gig I do not want to go to listening to the Vandelles album at preposterous volume, hunched over this laptop, elbows up, fingers gently moving, preparing to write, what? I don’t know. But something. I have to go and see Enos tonight, I’ve been trying to get them to come to Edinburgh for so long now, to not go and see them would be foolish. Cosmic Sleep impersonators Enos have taken time out to visit the frozen north and the lineup glitters with all manner of local secondary jewels. I just can’t work myself out of this angst funk and doubt I will do so by about midnight. Of course, if I choose not to go it leaves me in a very interesting position rearding exactly what shit I’ll feed into the insatiable maw of the dreaded internet hivemind and exactly how and when I’ll knock it together. It’s another oppurchancity to do some photography, make some friends, make contact with all the head ritual enchanters down at Bannermans bar, which now stands as just about the only bastion of high quality sonic worship going. It’s also a time when discerning Edinburgh music scribes can get a kick out of not having to catch a train at each end of the ritual, and make it worth the while of all those who toil in the name of our lord (Iommi). I will go, natch, in a haze of bad vibes and vicious angst fit, possessed of an acute Jesus frenzy and not talking to anyone of those sinners in that wretched place.

Robot Death Monkey, cool bass, dude.
Our guitarist died last year, we decided to keep going – Robot Death Monkey

So it’s another night of the semi-spectacular local talent propping up a less-local underground powerhouse, and we start with Robot Death Monkey (wasn’t Barry’s band from High Fidelity called Sonic Death Monkey? Ah well, they should have been called Karen Turner Overdrive) who I’d never heard before, or heard of before but it was the same story as with all these things. The Scottish metal scene is not so big or so disparate as to afford any opportunity for anonymity. “Didn’t I see you at the Sleep gig? Weren’t you at OM? Did you catch Karma to Burn in Newcastle? Oh, you’re from that band aren’t you?” There’s none of this Jex Thoth style fandom where enough fans to populate a country never congregate in the same space, everyone knows everyone. Well, the tshirts were good (Sleep’s Holy Mountain and Mastodon’s the Hunter) and the omens were good. Robot Death Monkey are an Edinbugger twopiece of OM-esque bass and drums, but with groove arrownecked bass tuned right into propa ‘lectric guitar levels of awesome; and for two guys, the stage presence is endless, and the energy is infectious. Robot Death Monkey came across on the stage much better than on record and the whole show was great. No doubt they’ll be becoming a fixture on the local gig circuit, well advised to check them out. Or indeed any local artist. It’s a cliché to say it, but your fave band were once a shitty local band (unless you like the X-factory output, in which case, go out, start your car, put a hosepipe over the exhaust and in the window and inadvertently raise the average IQ of humanity… please) trying to sell badly printed tees and playing support for some other local guttersnipes, and there’s real potential here, and at a gig you just get pissed and deaf anyway, so why cares if famous people are making you deaf? Robot Death Monkey, one to watch.

Gareeda, drifting in and out.
Let me kill one more – Gareeda

Y’know what. I’m glad the Exploited took Concrete away from Gareeda. I love his lyrics, but Stuart Lillis on vocals completes the Gareeda show. It’s an orgy of million-miles an hour Orange Goblin riffs and raucous bottled energy, but now headed by the braying ultramasculine Lillis, the whole thing becomes a supercamp pumped-up pub rock, bourbon swilling and deliberately over the top; it’s pub rock on steroids, or pub rock that’s old enough to know better. Let Me Kill One More and Crotch of Hell drench the whole place in sweat, adrenaline and petrol, and toss a casual cigarette over the whole crowd and watch the entire piece-of-shit place burn to the ground. They’re funny and self-depricating in between knocking out genuine pub rock extraordinaire and at the centre of the burning hurricane eye is Lillis’ absolutely spectacular over-the-top full-on Adam Black Savage vocal strutting. After seeing Concrete two days before, I can’t help thinking Lillis’ take on the material is much more appropriate and gives Gareeda to my mind unique status in terms of regularly-gigging Edinbugger bands. Added to the furious perspiring proto-everything riffage, the embracement of the riff not as element or concept but as central guiding light. They all seem to have come to an agreement with the ridiculousness of it all. It was a cold night outside, but in Bannermans Gareeda swiftly sweated the place out.

Enos during launch - blast off.
Time ceases to be – Enos

Enos arrive with superb platters of pedals, more pedals than would designate an entire band devoted to just frontman Chris Rizzanski, and the rest of the band are similarly overwrought in the effects dept., and no wonder. Their 2010 demo, Chapter One, was an affair notable for its subtlety, attention to detail and simplicity. Big, broad, straightforwardly enjoyable stoner rock grooves with Chris’ distinct gravelly vocals and a heart-pounding pace; they brought their post-Truckfighters Hawkwind overdub to Edinburgh for the first time in a long time. They were also playing tracks from Chapter Two, their follow up due in November and maybe destined to join the end of year list, judging by what came out of that already-sweaty basement on Friday night. The long drawn Enos soundscapes have always been something of a jewel in modern (i.e. still going) British groove rock but the word to describe the assault on my still-whistling ears brought by the Enos space capsule has to be: punishing. The volume is so ear-bleedingly vast, a thousand decibels across, at least, that I’d rank it second only to Sleep at the Arches in this year. Oddly though, the subtleties and delicacies of Enos’ sound still come through, each distinct and audible even in the vastness of the tinnitus-inducing sandstorm they’re whipping up.

Photo of the night - Stu Lillis, strepsil-proof Gareeda vox.
Get Gareeda’s debut album here, we gave it the treatment earlier. Get Enos’ debut here for free, and their follow up at the end of Novembertime. Savour.

Written under duress by Steven. Photos - also Steven.

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