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Eric Anders

Eleven Nine

Review by Gary Hill

Let me discuss the scope of this review right off the bat. I'm a music journalist. That means that I am going to talk about the music here. The lyrics are very political (in the way 60s protest music was political). The cover is certainly politically charged. I'm not endorsing or condemning either this cover of those lyrics. It's not my place to make such commentary. It's not my field of expertise. I am going to address this as a musical release only.

The music here probably best fits under Americana. That said, there is quite a range here from fuzz-laden psychedelic music to full on folk. There are some pieces that lean toward modern prog rock in a lot of ways. In fact, I considered landing this under that heading but ultimately decided it wasn't the best fit.

There is one song on the disc that just doesn't work. It's the second track which is an awkward sort of merging of the opening cut with Creedence Clearwater Revival. This would be a much stronger set with that piece left off of it. Beyond all that, though, if you agree with the political message of this set, you'll love it. If you don't agree, but ignore that, you'll still find plenty to like about this. It really is a great album.



This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
This Fire Has Burned Too Long

There is a bit of a trippy, jazzy kind of sound all over this slow moving number. The vocals have a soulful sound to them. There is almost a Radiohead modern prog kind of vibe to this in some ways.

Who'll Stop the Rain
Here things get bizarre. On the one hand, this is the same song as we heard on the first track. It gets bits of the CCR tune just sort of grafted into it here and there. It's bizarre and jarring. I don't think it works at all. This is a waste of a track as far as I'm concerned. I'd call it "unlistenable."
How Low and Why

Now, this is more like it. We get a killer slab of Americana on this smoking hot tune. It's still slow moving, but it just oozes cool. It reminds me a bit of Neil Young in some ways. It gets a bit distorted and seriously rocking as it continues.

Looking Forward to Your Fall
More energetic and harder rocking, the Americana elements are laced all over this cut. This is quite political in terms of the lyrical content. That makes this well tied to the music of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but the music itself makes that connection. The arrangement gets quite involved and lush on this number. It's definitely a highlight of the set. I love the guitar soloing on this, too.
Inside the Sacrifice Zones
Piano starts this cut. That serves as the backdrop for the vocals. This combines alternative rock and modern prog in a great mélange. It gets more layers of sound later. It's a slow moving and moody cut. It turns toward modern prog rock (again think "Radiohead") later in the track.
Do You Feel
I love the fuzz drenched, retro textures on this thing. It has a real stoner rock vibe to it. The old-school retro groove on this tune is quite classy. This is another that has some definite hints of modern prog rock.
A Man For No Season
This mellower number is definitely Americana based. It's a good cut that lands somewhere between psychedelia and folk music, but has a lot of modern alternative rock in the mix, too.
So Wrong
Acoustic guitar opens this in a rocking folky way. The cut grows into something that makes me think of the band America just a bit. This is a classy tune that is definitely classic at the same time.
Big World Abide
A slow moving, mellower cut with a lot of retro texture, this is full on Americana for sure. It's moody and rather trippy.
I Hear Them All (This Land Is Your Land)
This has a real folk music vibe to it. It's bouncy and catchy with a lot of country in the mix. Showing the links to protest music, this works out to Woody Guthrie's classic tune.

 

 

 
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