El Ten Eleven - New Year's Eve

13 Mar 2022 - Skyler

post-rock | Joyful Noise Recordings | Release date: 04 Mar 2022

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El Ten Eleven arrives with another fantastic album

New Year’s Eve is the newest album from El Ten Eleven, who are a post rock band with a great discography, I’ve personally been following them since about 2009. If you aren’t familiar with their work, this album is a great place to start. This album shows some evolution in their sound but still feels like an El Ten Eleven album. I was extremely excited to hear about this one coming out and glad I’m getting to do a review for it.

Their previous work has definitely been more on the ambient or relaxing side of things, which I’ve enjoyed quite a lot. For me, it was always excellent driving music whenever I was making my commutes to and from college. Now, I generally enjoy their music while I work or when I’m running errands. This album fits that bill even better, the first track off the album was not what I was expecting but it’s good to see them expand their horizons. The ambient feeling of their previous work is somewhat left behind for a more aggressive but fun feeling. This definitely seems like more of a rock album, driving drums, catchy riffs, and harmonized guitars.

In the second track from the album there’s a really cool break with just drums and bass guitar that then adds in more layers starting with a synthy sounding guitar, more guitars come in and they return to the main motif, which we were introduced to earlier. All the tracks on the album share this drive to introduce new musical ideas in a more agressive way. None of it ever feels out of place though, the transitions sound great and I’d definitely miss them if they weren’t there. Overall, it feels a lot more “dance-able” and somewhat reminds me of Moderat, if you’re familiar with their work. If you are more interested in their more relaxed work, the album transitions in the latter half to provide that. Tracks 4, 5 and 6 are as good as the first half but are definitely a bit more sleepy. A wondrous blend of acoustic instruments, effects, and synths.

El Ten Eleven has 8 full length albums and a couple of EP’s, a huge catalog of previous work spanning from 2002 to present. The band has a history of great live shows as well, which we’re fortunate enough to be able to see again this year. SFWeekly once remarked that “Watching El Ten Eleven play is something like watching two superheroes do their thing.” Their live shows have historically been just the two members of the band recreating the album together live, the songs need to be restructured slightly as they don’t like to use prerecorded parts in the live shows. This means that seeing them live is an entirely new experience and well worth seeing if you can make your way out. They’ll be touring in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, and of course the US over at least the next three months.

If you’re entirely new to El Ten Eleven or a seasoned fan like me, give their new album a listen and if you dig it, grab a ticket to a live show!