I Can Make A Mess – Enola




Rise Records




For Fans Of

Bad Books - Person L - Kevin Devine


Enola offers more variety than any previous material making it by far the band's most interesting release to date.


80 / 100

Arthur “Ace” Enders, most well known for his vocal work in The Early November, started I Can Make A Mess in 2004 with the self-titled release I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business, but did not return to the project until 2010. Now, having dropped the “Like Nobody’s Business” from the name, Ace has released Enola.

Enola opens with title-track, setting the scene for the diverse album with a combination of sounds, all of which fit around the ever-present acoustic guitar in I Can Make A Mess songs. There are bending electric guitar notes over inspired, easy listening-style cymbal crashes and building toms.

In a previous tweet a while back Ace said, “The next album I make will be 82.4 % different than anything else I’ve done”, and Enola shows this was not just Ace having a bit of a laugh, but rather, something serious, which he has actually accomplished.

‘Wrinkle’ boasts an atmospheric introduction, with a lot of interesting cyclical elements, dipping in and out of folky sounds. There is so much which contributes to the track, and this is also true for most of the songs, that, even with the presence of folky qualities, ‘Wrinkle’ cannot be confined to the classification of a folk song or anything else.

At times there are digital beats and dance elements mixed into the songs, which is not at all expected, such as in ‘Close Enough’, ‘What Happens Now’, and ‘Burn It All Down’. This becomes a little bit too much in ‘Tidal Wave’, to the point where the song begins to sound like it is a remix of an I Can Make A Mess song, but thankfully this is the only instance where it does so.

The highlight for Enola is the return of the song ‘Lion’ on Enola after its release on Ace EndersShare With Everyone EP. The inspiring track is made up of repeated building to lines which include, “If I could spark like a fire but be as common as matches and I would rule like a lion and just go off like a cannon”, and, “If I could shine like a diamond but live alone on the streets I’d be my best as a lover and be as cool as a thief can”.


This album is a satisfying exploration from Ace, as he experiments with sounds unlike anything he has done with The Early November, his solo albums, or previous I Can Make A Mess music.


1. Enola
2. Wrinkle
3. Close Enough
4. Adaptation Cell
5. Listen Lesson / Keep Away
6. Tidal Wave
7. Lions
8. Ancient Crows
9. What Happens Now
10. Burn It All Down
11. Thin White Line

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