El Ten Eleven, the Los Angeles-based ‘Power Duo’ of guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty play the Wonder Ballroom Saturday December 7. The two-member band will be featuring songs from an upcoming 3-track EP, For emily, to be released February 4, 2014, as well as the rest of the five album catalog dating back to 2005.
Of all the musical descriptions the band has heard, drummer Fogarty prefers “Power Duo”, but he even considers that a little ridiculous. Having been reviewed as post rock, ambient and experimental, the former is acceptable. But then it’s easy to hear why some have come away with that impression as El Ten Eleven’s music certainly ventures in and out of all those genres, most notably for the technical workings of their compositions performed from Dunn’s double neck guitar-bass and Fogarty’s drumming.
Discussing their last full length album as noted on their website, that despite the absence of lyrics, their fifth studio full-length album Transitions, may be the most personal to date. “Tim and I have been through a lot in the past couple of years,” Dunn reflects. “We’ve both been divorced, moved to different cities, Tim went through some really dark times, I got remarried and had a kid … for a while things were uncertain and we threw ourselves into the new record and it called for more than just short pop structures.”
This is quickly evident with the title track, Transitions, that clocks in at over ten minutes and travels a twisting journey of sublime unpredictability. But their focus is still on the duo’s ability to write catchy, emotional hooks.
You’ll discover much of what is written about the progressive leanings in their songs are evident. Dunn aptly displays his technical prowess on Yellow Bridges and No One Died This Time, both evoking similarities to Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew’s work together in King Crimson. Some composition venture further into the stylings of Steve Howe, Trevor Rabin, and Eric Johnson, but any comparison simply acknowledges Dunn’s proficiency in crafting El Ten Eleven’s signature sounds.
But you’ll also find the ambient friendly tones in tracks Birth and Lullaby which continue to acknowledge the significant life experiences on the duo’s personal journeys. In a somewhat of a post rock mode, it’s the emotionally reflective composition, Thanks Bill, Dunn’s personal thank you to Bill Wilson, Alcoholic’s Anonymous co-founder, that expresses his gratitude for the 12-step program’s contribution to Dunn’s wife’s sobriety and saving their marriage.
To hear and discover more of what make El Ten Eleven fly, get up close and personal experience. Tickets are still available at the Wonder Ballroom box office, $13 in advance, $15 day of the show. Doors open at 8pm and evening starts with Slow Magic. In the meantime, you can click on Nova Scotia to hear the first release from next year’s EP. Power on and enjoy!