Colin Matsui


Enumclaw Soars On The Fuzzed-Out Manifesto ‘Save the Baby’

December 7, 2022

“I will be who I’m destined to be”

I don’t know that any record has grabbed me from the getgo the way Enumclaw’s debut Save the Baby has. The lofi distorted-past-recognition noise that opens the title track gives way to a driving rhythm section teasing the band’s inimitable blend of off-the-cuff alt rock and high precision tightness. Singer/guitarist Aramis Johnson and bassist Eli have an often unexpected dynamic that can only come from years of sibling rivalry, here they’re in perfect lock-step, there in direct opposition, now alternating focus. Like many of the best sibling-driven bands, the interplay between elements is a big part of what makes them click.


The band is constantly playing with scale, from the opening cut’s constant widening of guitar tone. On the standout “2002” the band envelopes the listener in sound creating the oft-pursued but rarely achieved illusion of being in the room during a particularly tight rehearsal. Aramis’ vocals are direct and honest, channeling the heights of 90’s confessional rock, befitting a band who semi-jokingly describe themselves as “the best band since Oasis.” Throughout the album, there’s shades of regret, and wrestling with the past. On “Park Lodge,” the Aramis pulls at the tension between the loss he’s experienced and his hopes for the future singing “Where I’m from, dreams aren’t made / on a sunny day.”



With Save the Baby, Enumclaw show a love for both melodic and dynamic twists and turns. Nowhere is this clearer than the lead-single “Jimmy Neutron” which cuts from studio footage to a Blur-inflected beat to a driving nostalgia trip before collapsing entirely in a wail of feedback. There’s a confidence in their songwriting that gives them freedom to break as many rules as they choose moment to moment. Fittingly then for an album deeply infatuated with the possibilities of distorting a guitar past all recognition, the centerpiece would be the acoustic-driven “10th and J 2.” Aramis’ lyrics often engage with the struggle between aspirations and reality, but here he lays it bare. With just a hint of doubt, he tries to summon a destiny through sheer sonic exertion. If anyone can, Save the Baby makes a strong case it’s Enumclaw.



Aramis explains, “It’s about the feeling of being stuck in Tacoma. Just like a lot of people in the Black community feel like they have to make it out through sports or rapping, I have to make it out with the band. I feel like this is our and the band’s only option to do something in a real way with our lives.”


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