music

« March 15, 2013

The Enemy

SXSW showcase reviews
Review by Tim Stegall
photo by Sandy Carson

The Enemy

Austin Music Hall, Thursday, March 14

Austin Music Hall? It's an echoing cavern, and with only a modest core of dedicated fans present here, those acoustics could've swallowed an echo-happy big-gesture group like U2. Yet Coventry, UK's the Enemy beat the crud-o-phonic sound down with aplomb, attacking its soaring anthems with fire and skill. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Clarke remains a neck-vein-popping, bug-eyed stage presence, spitting out his tales of escaping backwater towns with raw passion. Liam Watts pounds like a miniature Keith Moon behind the kit, while bassist Andy Hopkins doubles as the Enemy's Paul Simonon, easily assuming teen heartthrob status in thumping the bottom-end in a pacing, harmonizing, off-mic fashion. They remind older ears of great English bands like the Jam without being a revival group or coming off as a watered-down Xerox. Transistor radio guitar sound be damned, the Enemy smashed out one anthem after another: "Gimme the Sign," "Away From Here," "We'll Live and Die in These Towns." "We're the Enemy," Clarke screams one song in, "We come from a small town in the UK, and we believe rock & roll is supposed to be live!" If I were 16 again and seeing the Enemy now, they'd be my Clash. They should be on bedroom walls and in hearts and minds all over.

BACK TO TOP ^