Thursday, December 7, 2023
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Enola Gay – Leeches Review

If you spend most of your days hungover or clawing for a caffeine high then mistaking Enola Gay with Enola Gay, the song from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, is understandable. Sober minds and a brief check online will show the two are different, but living life in the fast lane does not offer this time. Still, Enola Gay offer up the first bit of their Casement EP with the single release, Leeches. Post-punk revival charms from the Northern Irish rockers, and another new band to add to an ever-growing collection to stick on deep in the dark, the early hours sucked away by parasitic animals. Better to listen to Leeches than encounter them, though. Heavy explosions of repetitive sound open Leeches up, and bring a listener front and centre to the stylish screeches Enola Gay offer. 

Hearing is temporary anyway. Turn Leeches up and stick some noise-cancelling headphones on. Blow your eardrums out. They were going to be on the brink anyway, may as well lose it to the ear leeches Enola Gay are creating. Well-pitched, brutalist whining and it all comes together nicely, with a real and harsh focus. Unforgiving four-piece efforts ripped up from the grim iconography associated with leeches forming this shaky triangle on the cover. Enola Gay understand image is just as important as impression through their volume and style. Bringing this into focus is the gift which keeps on giving for the heavier post-punk charms Leeches hopes to capture. It does so and with little effort on the part of the band, a natural chemistry and convincingly held together by the band. 

Rattle your brain awake in the morning with a bit of Leeches. Letting this track settle, letting it roar through a mind kicked to bits by tinnitus and sleep deprivation is the place to be. It has a seediness to it, a darker edge which is truly lacking in pockets of post-punk at this stage. Enola Gay are no fools, although they appear to have fallen for something frequently as their lyrics present the “fool me once…” back-and-forth before screeching into a pitch change and a moved, energetic exposure of their greater punk talents. Underneath all those sirens and wails is a thumping bass and percussion blend which gives some grand and much-needed balance for a song you can visualise. 

You can see Enola Gay flailing themselves around as the lights burst across the stage. All good tracks bring out a sense of physical placement as well as the usual run of quality instrumentals. Enola Gay does just that with Leeches, a punky, prickly number which is as fun the first time as it is a hundred times over. Grabbing the audience by the lapels of their jacket, shaking some sense into them and sticking their ear next to the amplifier, Enola Gay are an in-your-face necessity, a powerhouse of the bubbling punk scene. They’re bringing about a rage and sincerity which is hardly hit on anymore. More power to them, although they do not need any more than they already have as they burst through Leeches with stern confidence and effective presence. 

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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