Pillbox

Enon Concert

Enon ? composed of singer-guitarist-bassist John Schmersal, singer-keyboardist-bassist Rick Lee, and drummer Steve Calhoon ? were not easy to bring to CMU. It took months of contract planning and negotiations, but after all was said and done, Enon brought the dingy-as-hell house down.

As hipsters, preppies, and stoners filed into the dingy student center to see indie rockers Enon, it was quite impressive to see the eclectic crowd the band drew. Enon?s music embodied their diverse fan base.

Compared to the sound of hundreds of bands, from the Postal Service to the Pixies, Enon?s fusion of indie rock and synth-pop is both intelligent and impatient; a three-minute song is a long one, but has enough complexity and variation to last much longer. Their style comes from a je-ne-sais-quelle breed of synthesized melodies, catchy guitar licks, and a rhythm section that will undoubtedly wake up the neighbors. Although lacking the raw vocal or instrumental technique of groups like the Postal Service, the music hits harder; you?re not likely to hum a cool Enon tune you?ve just heard on the way out, but you?re much more likely to be taken aback and sucked into their music. They are, in that manner, more dramatic than their peers.

On Saturday night, the group pounded their way through punk-rock anthems like ?Snaggletooth,? a balls-to-the-wall frenzy of punchy bass riffs and wall-shaking drum beats, while also rocking the dance-inducing ?Natural Disasters,? a bouncy melodic rock tune, a tune Kurt Cobain could have written if he were ever in a good mood. Lee passed her bass off to Schmersal for the techno-rock of ?Disposable Parts? so she could sing and play synthesizer. The tune?s melodic bass line, catchy refrain, and arse-kicking drum beat brought out the Kraftwerk synth-pop also common in bands like The Killers and Interpol.

As I took note of the poor acoustics in the Drill Deck, I noticed Enon?s music and appearance seemed to fit pretty well with the room?s peeling paint and cracking wood. The amps crackled between songs. The instruments were chipped and dented. Lee sported a tattered black dress and Schmersal a worn-through vintage yellow and pink sweater. All the while, the music was raw and piercing as it climbed to peaks and barreled through lows.

Enon came to CMU to rock, and rock they did. The drill deck?s crowd giggled at the band?s jokes between songs and danced during them. The group left a great impression on newbies, and smiles on the faces of long-time fans. ?They made you feel good and were fun to dance to,? Derek Eguae-Obazee, a junior chemical engineering major, said of Enon. ?It was a good show.? With a newly released B-sides compilation, Lost Marbles and Exploded Evidence, Enon are showing little sign of slowing down, giving Pittsburgh fans hope that these great guys (and girl) will be back on campus soon.