EP REVIEW: Enfers – ‘Come When They Call Labour’

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Although I didn’t review the lead single release from this EP – ‘Waiting Room – I was very impressed. Indeed so impressed that in hindsight I’m regretting not reviewing it (hindsight is a wonderful thing).

Enfers do a kind of indie-pop/rock. What you need to know is that I’m using that term somewhat reluctantly. A better way of describing it would be wonderfully rich pop with huge tunes, with perhaps something of an indie-pop thing going on. But, and it’s a big but, this is not all that Enfers do, as you will discover.

The opening track ‘Awake’ sets out their stall; huge tune, instantly danceable, smile inducing to the max. And yes, you’ll get something of an indie-pop feel but you need to listen more closely. For this is pop, huge classic pop; with something of a back in the day feel. And I apologise in advance here, but to me it brings to mind Top of the Pops back in the 80s. What I’m saying is that it mixes the old with the new. The result, bloody fabulous.

You remember I said that Enfers are no one trick pony (or words to that effect); ‘The Circuit’ is an example. Yes, there are hints of indie-pop/rock (if we must) but the band throw in all sorts of things; gloriously retro pop sounds – check out that guitar break for a start, something that sounds of all things a bit like later period Yes. Not only this but a great lyric about a band touring – with smiles and laughs. All that and a great tune, and instantly danceable.

And now to ‘Waiting Rooms’. I could be lazy and just describe this as epic. For this they take their sound and slow it down a little, add layers of wonderful sounds, throw in a soft-rock feel here and there. Sorry but this is just something you just have to hear.

Closing track ‘Heaven In A Wildflower’ is something else again. They take that old and new mix, strangely decide that at times a Queen vibe is a good thing (spoiler, it is), mix in an unexpected guitar/synth freakout, a huge indie-pop section. You get what I’m saying here – it’s a mix of lots of sounds, tempos and feels that, on the face of it, shouldn’t work. But the thing is, it does, boy does it work. In a way it’s the ultimate taking of what they’ve done on the other three songs and pushing it to max. It is, and I use this term carefully, experimental and progressive. Alternatively you could just describe it as a joyously huge song.

Before I go on I have to pause and mention that the playing on this EP is outstanding. The arrangements are clever – allowing the unexpected to shine while retaining that sense of melody. The vocals are something I’m going to pick out – I do this because it was the vocals that hooked me in initially – that’s a voice I could listen to all day.

They say ‘In many ways, the tracks which we chose for the EP are the ones that most represent the journey from when we first formed the band to where we are now. Each one is quite different to the next but all of them live somewhere along the spectrum between commercial pop and indie rock’.

I agree with this to a degree. The thing is that a spectrum is linear; whereas Enfers are pushing that envelope in all sorts of different directions. Or perhaps to take a different mathematical way of describing it; their sound lies somewhere in a Venn diagram of all sorts of music old and new. And crucially where in that diagram depends on each song.

This is an incredibly impressive EP; the songs are all strong, every song has a tune to die for, the playing is a joy. As an introduction to this new-ish band it’s stunning. I love this. Can’t wait for the next release. May they never stop pushing that envelope.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.