Enon | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Though rehashing the past is for defeatists, I kind of wish Enon would just spaz out like they did in the good ol' days. Toko Yasuda, who sings a lot more than she used to, is a declawed kitty cat, so breathily cutesy as to be embarrassing sometimes, and former Brainiac keyboardist John Schmersal tinkles where he used to stab. But what they've lost in raw charm they make up for in elegance. The trio's latest, Hocus Pocus (Touch and Go), is definitely for grown-ups: It's catchy but not bubblegummy, quiet but jam-packed with melodies--sometimes in quivering layers that never quite jell. With drummer Matt Schulz, Yasuda and Schmersal construct stunning pop songs without taking any easy roads, though sometimes they have to throw up the roadblocks themselves: the slightly psychedelic pastel grooves are periodically frazzled by overthought dissonance. But hey, it takes guts to purposely mess up stuff that's so painstakingly arranged. Thunderbirds Are Now and the Swords Project open the early show; Shesus (with guitarist Michelle Bodine, whom Schmersal replaced in Brainiac) and Sweet Heat open the late one. Thursday, October 16, 7 and 11 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Brad Miller.

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