Of Ennui: All Things Bad & Mean

Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
INSTAGRAM
RSS

 

15894424_1085132958299892_7148058008141231591_n

All Things Bad & Mean waltzes between dread and comfort

Of Ennui’s debut EP, All Things Bad & Mean, slithers through a menagerie of hot, sand-baked rocks. Deliberate, serpentine movements shimmer with diamond-markings. It’s a powerful release that roars and croons with baritone coolness. The band — Brian Strauss, vocals/guitar; Christian Cate, guitar; Indigo Machado, drums; Angus Garcia, bass/background vocals — is a phalanx of untroubled, and impermeable, instrumentation. Hailing from San Diego, Of Ennui’s melodic discord channels My Bloody Valentine’s speaker eviscerating distortion, all while adding layers of viscous dread. There’s a defiant sense of peril, aggression, and intangible comfort throughout the record’s hypnotic running time. In “Ebola”, an eerie symphonic charge of uncanny valleys and lost roads shake the proceedings (imagine “Vapour Trail” by Ride as written by Krzysztof Penderecki).

All Things Bad & Mean has the gait of an early ’90s Nick Cave record, and, at times, the cavalier brooding of Stephin Merritt’s The Magnetic Fields, but it always maintains its own textured and undaunted originality. With modern music’s preoccupation with carnival sugar and sunbeams — those idealistic aesthetics are still amazing, don’t get me wrong — Of Ennui’s compass for snake scales and long shadows is a much needed dip into the deep end of an unlit pool.

With all of the record’s nuanced and expertly chaotic compositions, “Sad Boy” may be the perfect dichotomy of the band’s sound: spectral crescendos, reverb-laden vocals, mesmeric guitars. It’s a track that deserves repeated listens for its multi-textured writing. Of Ennui’s charcoal-dusted EP unearths forgotten memories, establishes a place and mood, and, most important of all, reminds us that wading through the darkness can be both cathartic and welcome. Please place these songs into your night-driving queue.

 

Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
INSTAGRAM
RSS

Author: Rob Patrick

A member of the San Diego Film Critics Society, Rob created Cinema Spartan after he stepped down as the editor of a weekly. He has written for The East County Californian, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, The San Diego Entertainer, and the San Diego Reader. He has also introduced films with the Pacific Arts Movement. He co-owns two dire wolves, Buckley and Ruffin. At any given time, he can tell you superfluous hockey statistics. He is the chancellor of Tapatio, an advocate of iced tea, and an owner of at least 70 pairs of Vans.

Share This Post On

Leave a Reply

Like Cinema Spartan? Help spread the word by sharing with your friends!