El Ten Eleven “Every Direction Is North” (Self-Released)
I was floored by El Ten Eleven’s hypnotic self-titled debut when I discovered it last year. So much so that I found myself visiting the band’s myspace page for up-to-date news on the new album…A LOT. Well, finally it has reached my grubby ears. Every Direction Is North might mark a slight change in direction but certainly not one that should disappoint people who enjoyed the first album. The duo’s brand of instrumental rock is made up of unique and free flowing parts. There is an incredible amount of melody on display in El Ten Eleven’s songs. However, there is an equal amount of thought given to pushing boundaries and experimenting. While many of the songs here, like “Estrella” and “Keep,” follow the path of the band’s self-titled affair, parts of Every Direction Is North have a much different feel. There are several upbeat songs that give off a spy-like cinematic feel. The band also flexes their muscle with some heavier material as well. The new wave synth-heavy nature of “Dax Pierson” shows that El Ten Eleven may just be scratching the surface of what is yet to come from the band. This continuous growth and expansion works rather well to balance out El Ten Eleven’s sound. Bands like El Ten Eleven shatter any preconceived notions of instrumental music being boring or easily pigeonholed. This duo is the real deal.