Eleventh Dream Day

El Moodio

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Beveridge-Bean gets to lead off the album with the wonderful "Makin' Like a Rug," delivering her vocal with side-of-the-mouth twang and sass -- it's not quite like a rural Pixies, but the combination of restrained verses and Rizzo-accompanied explosive choruses gives it the same good feeling. Sometimes the lyrics get a bit lost in the din, but close attention proves rewarding -- the cryptic, tense scenario of "Murder" details what might be a romantic breakdown, or what might be something more, with sharp detail. Rizzo and O'Bannon both continue the tradition of kick-butt riffs and solos; producer Jim Rondinelli lets them explode forth just the way they should, with enveloping blasts and razor-sharp whines. The McCombs/Beveridge-Bean rhythm section keep up the rear with equally inspired vim and skilled playing, both able to convey restraint (consider the gentle moodout into lovely zone of "Figure It Out") with just as much passion as raging rush. More calmer moments surface here than on Lived to Tell, but far from seeming like a toning down songs like the power poppy "After This Time Has Gone" and the lengthy, beautifully melancholy rumination "Honeyslide" just seem to be a new way for the band's abilities to shine. As for the concluding "Rubberband," the group's love of Neil Young reaches new and impressive heights, which the fantastic solo confirms. Otherwise, as before, all Eleventh Dream Day needs to create their fantastic work are their own considerable talents.

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