Gifts From Enola – Self-titled LP
The Mylene Sheath
I can’t think of many bands who keep improving with each successive album. Most bands hit their peak early, often within their first couple albums and then peter out or venture off into undesirable territories where they lose sight of the magic they once had. For their third album for The Mylene Sheath, Gifts From Enola prove to be the exception to that pattern by delivering their strongest record to date which couldn’t have been an easy task considering how great their previous efforts were.
The band has somehow become heavier yet more diverse at the same time. The songs on this LP are longer than their typical songs and even more complex. They held back a bit on the repetition too and opted for even more cascading waves of sound and tempo shifts. It won’t take more than a minute or so of warm guitar leads before the band opens up into some riff-tastic grooves that are heavy without the metal and pack one hell of a satisfying punch. Just when you start to get used to that, the band shifts gears again and takes you the other direction and calms you back down just long enough to catch your breath before hitting another turn into some uncharted territory. Each song is such a rush that these tracks are like drugs without the health risks or stupidity. The band even experimented with having vocals in one of their songs. The track that has it, “Dime and Suture” mixes their trademark post-rock style with a bit of math-rock and more noisier early 90’s indie rock into this incredibly dense and powerful piece that is easily the best song the band has ever written and is hopefully a style they continue to dabble with in the future. That song alone is worth the purchase price but truthfully every song on this is a real gem and Gifts From Enola really raised the bar quite high for themselves with this LP.
A record this good is deserving of not only the vinyl format, but nice packaging and this record delivers on that front too. The record comes in a full-color cover that has a die-cut center hole to expose the center of the inner sleeve. This inner sleeve’s center artwork is made to be part of the outer sleeve’s artwork and is also printed in full color. It features photos and the lyrics to the song that has vocals. It also features the track list and all the recording and band information. This inner sleeve is thick and glossy. The record itself is on really high quality vinyl that just so happens to be orange in color (which is limited to 300 copies). The whole thing is inside a screen printed poly bag that has the band’s name on it. It’s a really impressive and expensive looking package that was beautifully done. The record itself sounds fantastic so whoever mastered it did an outstanding job and this is the format that you should be listening to this album on as a mp3 or CD will not do this music justice.
Gifts From Enola hit a home run with this record and I hope they keep their batting average this high because this record is definitely one for the highlight reel.