3 out of 5
Label: Touch and Go
Produced by: D. Sardy, Various
Borne from bits of both Skeleton Key and Brainiac, I couldn’t have been more obsessed with Enon when they hit the scene with Believo! This meant I was snatching up 7″ singles without a method of playing them, and once I did procure a method, it wasn’t the most convenient one, meaning that if I was spending my time listening to vinyl, I generally opted for full length listens. While I wasn’t as pleased with High Society, and sorta started not caring with Hocus Pocus, the collectors’ mentality persisted, and more 7″es were bought, and lack of playing them continued. Enon hasn’t been the only band in my collection to follow this pattern, so whenever there’s a compilation of such singles released – such as Enon’s Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence – I can breathe easy, finally having an easier way to catch up on my “must listen to” pile of music.
So we know this is a comp. Which means it carries the burden of almost every compilation: a sense that the tracks don’t quite belong together. And I’d say it’s even more jarring here, given how much Enon’s style shifted over the years, from lo-fi Schmersal jams, to Brainiac out-and-out weirdness, to Toko-influenced pop, to more rock-oriented riffage, with all of those represented, at not in chronological order, either. The plus of that means that any given fan’s preferred sound is featured for a moment, but the minus being that its not sequenced in such a manner that you can get into a groove longer than a song at a time. I’d equate that to Hocus Pocus, which has a low hit-to-average ratio; what’s unfortunate, though, is that Lost Marbles actually has a lot of great songs, but since they bop around so much stylistically, it starts to blend together.
Still, the appeal is undeniable: a chance to hear a bunch of off-album stuff together, and remind you of how good Enon was, either on whichever disc you love, or on the singles from those discs you didn’t. It’s too bad it doesn’t sync up for a necessarily repeatable listen, but it earns its right to stay on the ol’ playlist.