Eleventh Dream Day Give Their All On ‘Works for Tomorrow’
One of the most rewarding aspects of writing about music is the amount of artists you discover that you probably wouldn’t encounter anywhere else. For example, one has become immersed in the works of indie veterans Eleventh Dream Day in anticipation for their latest release 'Works for Tomorrow', and have been rewarded with 28 years of strongly written and overlooked indie rock from Chicago, boasting a rawer and more sincere tone than their contemporaries R.E.M. and the Pixies.
However, whether you’re familiar with group, or this is your first time reading the name Rick Rizzo, 'Works for Tomorrow' is a satisfying work of American alternative rock that sees the core members Rizzo, Janet Beveridge Bean, Mark Greenberg and Douglas McCombs introduce James Elkington to the fold, giving EDD two guitarists for the first time since 1994. It’s a choice that compliments their songwriting ideas effectively as opener Vanishing Point occasionally injects bursts of power-chord ferocity into the otherwise smooth track, which holds up Bean’s guttural calling “I’m gonna take it from the inside, I’m gonna take it slow.”
Bean’s vocal performances is one of the album’s highlight. While Rizzo’s unkempt melodic tones establish most of 'Works for Tomorrow', you’ll find yourself doing a double take whenever Bean begins showing off the group’s punk element as she is set free to scream alongside Rizzo on the title track’s chorus, or provides powerhouse melodies with Rick on Go Tell It, giving the song the kind of elated spirit only found in gospel music, before the pair’s duet on The Unknowing shows the ability to transition from chaotic to charming.
Ultimately, the entire band is on form across the album, and the chemistry that can be sought out can be heard in the tightness of their performance. The People’s History sees the band waste no guitar work in making one of the punchiest and heavy punk songs, where Elkington’s raw guitar pinching drags across the track creating a barrage of noise. It sounds rough, but it also shows the genuineness of their songwriting. The light melodies for their ode to the human heart Reqiuem for 4 Chambers is also a fine example of every guitar strum, crash of drum and keyboard note has a firm place in nailing the song’s emotional urgency and creating a mesmerizing song which, much like the human heart, builds in pressure constantly.
These factors make 'Works for Tomorrow' a charming album, as well as one where you can identify all the members of Eleventh Dream Day having significant roles and using all the basic skills they have to arrange fairly complex and engaging songs together. It’s an uplifting piece of work that hits hard at all the right moments, and acts with heavy sentiment in between. Ultimately, a satisfying musical find from a band I don’t think I could have discovered without wanting to write about bands.
To find out more about Eleventh Dream Day click here.
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Words by Andy Davidson