Caravels/Gifts From Enola
Caravels’ material on this new split release is on par with their astounding Floorboards EP from 2010—angular, dissonant hardcore with heaps of melody and angst. They frequently remind us of a hungrier, more desperate version of Touché Amoré, and tracks like “Sagan Genesis” and “Beer Pressure” are piercing and powerful. But check out the sweeping “Bone Voyage” for a hint of where Caravels might be headed; it’s ending riff sounds downright apocalyptic, sort of the flaming apex of Neurosis-inspired drone and Hoover-like looped emote. Gifts From Enola are a whole other beast, though. Formerly an instrumental band, they are much more ambient and, well, weird. These Virginians deliver two longer songs that burst, bloom and build to a rousing climax. Lots of space-rock worship is added into songs that seem more like storybooks in audio; kind of like Japan’s Envy if they rocked out a little more (check out the kickass riff halfway into “Angel Face”). Definitely one of the better split releases to come out in some time—and both are bands to watch.