Apparently trying to conquer the galaxy once wasn't enough for Eleventyseven. After the South Carolina natives' solid sophomore album, Galactic Conquest, the band was able to wash away some the grimaces that had previously been associated with Eleventyseven because of their debut ...And The Land Of Fake Believe. Even though the hope-filled band, led by Matthew Langston, has dismissed their spacesuits, the group is continuing to progress with their latest expedition: Adventures In Eville.
The heavily synthesized sound which engulfed most of Galactic Conquest set apart Eleventyseven's average punk rock from other pop punk acts like Hawk Nelson, Stellar Kart, and Run Kid Run. However, even with some impressive songs, the band lacked total refinement and a Relient K-like dominant presence. But even before the band's new album has barely begun, the first song "Nightmare" reveals that Eleventyseven is already well on their way to that dominant status. The fast-paced opening song is filled with a progressive beat and an insanely techno-influenced catchy beat which greatly outclasses Galactic Conquest highlight, "Fight To Save Your Life."
Early on, Adventures In Eville has sounds similar to that of new band And Then There Were None, but Eleventyseven's light-hearted tone is the major difference between the two bands. "Evil Genius," which musically is in the same vein as Galactic Conquest's progression, is a fun, infectious tune while "Trying" reaches the pinnacle of techno punk rock on the disc with its remarkable chorus and very attractive surrounding melodies. Although "The Best I Can" isn't jaw dropping, the track does represent how Eleventyseven has matured since their last record. When "Love in Your Arms'" bridge came around, it switched to a platform to vent useless synth-led pop, but in "The Best I Can" the group smartly decided to add some worthwhile lyrics to keep the juvenility down.
Rather than keep with the same pattern as their last album, Eleventyseven backs up the second half of Eville with diverse tunes instead of allowing the individual tracks to mesh. However, while this is a good strategy for an album overall, the quality of each song shouldn't suffer (Sadly, it does occur when the band tries to go with a rock flair). The brief hip-hop vocals which start "Redeem The Scene" begin an actual rock song with big riffs where, it appears, Langston's voice isn't prepared to go yet. Similarly, the synthesized rock verses in "Like You Rock" are out of place and confusing because they don't explain how the listener should feel until the solid 80's influenced punk rock chorus takes over.
Although the lighter pop tune "Lonely Word" lacks eye-popping music, the charming "When We Were Kids" is impressive without a prominent up-tempo beat. Meant for laughs, the Family Force Five interjection in the bridge doesn't harm the tone of the fun pop punk "Prom Song" but the song overall, which would be strong on any other Eleventyseven album, is just good here. The piano music opening the final track, "End Of Time," is a surprising but pleasant add-on, which makes the slightly techno influenced light pop ballad even more epic.
It's possible that Eleventyseven's departure from Flicker Records' roster of artists affected God's place in the band's lyrics because the album significantly reduced the spiritual references used on the group's last record. Songs like "Nightmare" and "End of Time" offer lyrics which could center on God, but the perspective and pronouns on those songs are more ambiguous than I'd like, leaving the clearest reference "every night we would say our prayers to someone watching us up there" on "Back When We Were Kids." Other meaningful songs which break past the few pointless ones are "Trying" and "The Best I Can."
Even though there is less to criticize on the music spectrum, naysayers of previous Eleventyseven discs will likely dislike the poppy/peppy edge that often accompanies projects like Adventures In Eville and pick on the lyrics of "Evil Genius" (everyone knows that there are mad scientists and not mad professors), but pop/punk fans who decide to pick up Eleventyseven's new album will be otherwise rewarded.- Review date: 6/17/09, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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