EP REVIEW: Eleven Dollar Life (EDL) - Shatter The Silence
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Eleven Dollar Life (EDL)
EP: Shatter the Silence
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Ska, Hi Energy Rock, Punk
Sounds Like: Red Hot Chili Peppers, INXS, Bare-naked Ladies
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Weakness: Winded songs (IMD does not give 10 stars ratings to EP’s)
Chicago 5 piece Eleven Dollar Life release their debut EP release Shatter the Silence in 2010. Band members include lead singer - Brian Pray drummer Kyle Voivodas, founding guitarist Chad Wynes, keyboardist Marc Gee and bassist Eli Namay,
The EP kicks off into high gear with solid garage rock vibe, “Wisconsin” a psychedelic guitar groove meshed against emotionally charged vocal delivery, & well placed harmonies from lead singer Brian Pray. Track 2 “Zee” serves up another solid low end groove, with bluesy rock, Ska type musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies & impressive vocal accents from Pray. Track 3 my personal favorite “Suitcase” shifts gears with its slithering musical intro eventually lending itself into a pulsating rock groove meshed with an infectious bluesy-rock melody that flows & ebbs its way through fruition. The CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 rock solid songs in a row. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of classic Red Hot Chili Peppers, & even brief splashes of The White Stripes, The Bare-naked Ladies & INXS. Right from the start you will notice Pray & company feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice, raw indie feel to it with a late 70’s psychedelic flair. Wyne's guitar playing is rock solid across the board as he dishes out impressive bluesy guitar licks, rock solid rhythm guitar playing & a few solos that will make your head spin. Equally as impressive is Pray’s vocal presence as he takes several vocal risks thought the CD indicating to me a strong & confident vocal ability. Pray’s voice goes down smooth & is full of passion, & recklessness abandon. The musicianship from all the other members in the band is above the bar & has everything you would expect from a standard 3 piece delivery. But along the way you will also notice many other impressive musical textures from things like well placed horns, slamming Hammond Organ chops, lush harmonies, & well placed keyboard accents. Pray clearly makes the (singer to listener) vocal connection with his singing. The songs themselves are short & sweet musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair, & signature groove. I can honestly say all these songs have hit potential written all over them. From adrenalin soaked “Suitcase” to the prefect finale statement “Relief” this 4 song EP pretty much has everything you would expect out of a top notch EP.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this EP. However all songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Perhaps the EP needs to be trimmed up by maybe 10%.
Shatter the Silence by Eleven Dollar Life is a rock solid debut statement. It’s strong suit – the song for song rock solid consistency & amazing vocal presence of lead singer Brian Pray. If Eleven Dollar Life has a slam dunk live presentation then that would make a pretty lethal combination. No doubt they are a lot of fun to check out live. So if you like college alternative rock that dishes out a hard hitting punk rock edge then you should jump into this EP head first.
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