Words: James Frostick
Band image: Rik Saunders
Cover art: Spiderxdeath
Today brings us a slab of chugging goth-tinged post-punk from Warrang/Sydney crew Enclave. The band’s new track ‘Crossfire’ is a gristly, caustic and acrimonious assault – a fury-laced indictment of systems that perpetuate trauma, dispossession and oppression.
Enclave is a relatively new outfit, but not an inexperienced one. The five-piece boasts some chops, with members plucked from the likes of COLD/HEAT, Black Drum, City Rose and Lorelei. Until now they only had one official single to their name – a formidable bruiser called ‘Gesture of Fear’. I touched on this song (and gave a generalised breakdown of the group’s appeal) briefly here, but to reiterate – Enclave craft a blend of tightly wound thuggish goth-laced pandemonium. Brutish stompers wrapped in black leather. Debased and doomy, but stylishly backlit in the murk. Unforgiving in sound, but socially progressive in its underlying ethos. ‘Crossfire’ is the group’s second single – a crushing number that leaves smouldering embers in its wake, a nice tempo change for those still reeling from the writhing scramble of ‘Gesture of Fear’.
The track kicks off with snaking feedback before settling in with a twin barrage of weighty percussion and gut-wobbling low end. Soon enough serrated guitars join the fray and Enclave turns into an aural wood-chipper – cutting matter into ribbons and pulping it into viscous goth punk. Central to the song’s sound is vocalist Pat McCarthy’s guttural huff – a discomforting larynx-shredding woof and adds an undeniably dangerous edge to proceedings. As he excoriates the powers that be – vilifying them for the treatment of minorities at home and abroad in their unrelenting power-hungry march – he seems to be dredging up every ounce of enmity in his body, lacing every choked syllable with acid to douse the foundations of oppressive structures in the hope they’ll disintegrate and crumble. While he ravages the systemic oppressors for propagating “bloody wars” and trying to “tell us what they think is right“, Pat simultaneously urges listeners to “break the chains for the one’s you love“, fighting for those caught in the crossfire – cruelly denied basic freedoms for too long. Listen to ‘Crossfire’ here: