El Ten Eleven: Transitions
El Ten Eleven: Transitions — This math rock thing is awesome. Transitions, the fifth album from Los Angeles math rockers El Ten Eleven, is a spectacular example of the looping, experimental musical style of math rock, which dizzies the listener with arrhythmic, complex tracks that are, dare I say, completely addicting.
In fact, the album may be more aptly described as segmented into seven stream-of-consciousness movements instead of seven separate songs. With recurring themes (there’s only so many different ways to pluck an acoustic guitar on quarter notes) and no lyrics to define the meaning of song titles like ‘Thanks Bill’ and ‘Tiger Tiger’, the listener is left to make up their own story to go with the mesmerizing waves of intricate rhythms and beat patterns. Somehow it all sounds happy and optimistic to me; I’d be curious if any of my beloved readers hear something different.
El Ten Eleven, comprising the two members Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty, isn’t breaking out of the box with their fifth studio album, which they self-released; if anything, they’ve streamlined their arithmetical schizophrenia into a more cohesive thesis statement of sound. Each song begins with a few simple ideas and builds with each successive section. The edges of the melodies brush against each other, so even though ‘Lullaby’ is a more melancholic track, it flows with the rest of the album. Nothing here feels out of place — much like a succinct but elegant mathematical equation.
With this much skill behind the synthesizer, you can bet we haven’t seen the best of El Ten Eleven yet. In the meantime, their latest release is worth more than a listen — in a modern era of $1 songs and unlimited replay, these seven tracks deserve an hour of your week… Maybe every week until El Ten Eleven releases their next one…9/10