Dinosaur Pile-Up – Eleven Eleven

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Recording in Strange Places is perhaps a more fitting title to Dinosaur Pile-Up’s new album Eleven Eleven. The reason I say this is because the first single, 11:11, was recorded (of all the more logical places) on a boat. A video of this nautical jam session can be found through VEVO.

This is the third LP from the U.K. alternative trio. The title track is bare-boned grunge. The raw texture of tones and simple verse-chorus-verse formula make it a textbook example of the early ‘90s genre. Much of the same can be said about the gritty sounds of the following track Red and Purple. Although the chorus is a bit more pop flavored in comparison to 11:11 chorus.

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Friend of Mine starts with heavy and unforgiving distortion, but this drops off into a clean and easy-going chorus.  The contrast between the verse and chorus is blunt and will instantly grab your attention. Might as Well is possibly the most radio-friendly song on this opus.  It builds from a three-chord riff into something overwhelming but smooth, similar to most typical shoegaze songs. During the bridge, the music stops leaving the vocalist alone with an acoustic guitar, the only truly soothing moment on the record thus far.

The album closer is a bonus track; Cross my Heart is an unusual cut among the previous 11 songs. There’s no angst or overdriven guitar here and it’s the only tune that, in my opinion, doesn’t fall into the category of ‘90s alternative but more along the lines of upbeat ‘80s pop. It’s disappointing to think that this one may not be included on some versions; it showed me that these guys are capable of more than what I initially thought.

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This album is a straight shot of grunge with (almost) no chaser. Your likelihood of enjoying Eleven Eleven depends on your level of fondness for the earliest days of grunge. Like it or not, you’re not going to get much else listening to this.

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