Eleven Dollar Life - Shatter The Silence [EP]2011, EDL Publications
Chicago's club scene might never be the same. Eleven Dollar Life have become the mavens of Chi-town over the past few years, graduating from the small stages they haunted from inception in 2003 as 4 Orange to the largest venues in town. With a dynamic and eclectic stage show and the electric personality of front man Bryan Pray, Eleven Dollar Life mixes a 1990's alt-rock sound with blazing pop sensibilities. Eleven Dollar Life's latest EP, Shatter The Silence, captures the unbridled energy and charisma that the band brings to the stage on CD and download for the entire world to hear.
Opening with "Wisconsin", Eleven Dollar Life shows just how easy it is to combine big hooks, an acoustic arrangement and punk energy. Pray rules the roost on the mic, as he waxes poetic about oversaturated populations and a lack of jobs. This is by far one of the catchiest songs of social conscience you've ever heard. "Zee" was written by a friend of band as a remembrance of his hard partying days on the rave scene. There's a distinctive 1970's vibe here, fed by the virulently danceable disco beat. "Suitcase" sounds finds Eleven Dollar Life sounding a bit like Jason Mraz. It's a fun listen that will get stuck in your skull, but the emphasis here is definitely more on sound than coherence. Eleven Dollar Life closes with "Relief", a document of the attempt to get in closer touch with yourself. The fluffy, mostly-acoustic arrangement is appealing, but the song is symbolically less complex than it wishes to be, an allegory, of sorts, for the lyrical intent sewn into the music.
Eleven Dollar Life certainly has the "IT" factor. Vocalist Brian Pray grabs your attention early on and holds it with a voice you can't quite pull yourself away from. The musicianship here is top notch, and Shatter The Silence seems likely to build on an already burgeoning fan base for Eleven Dollar Life. Right now Eleven Dollar Life is one lucky break away from the big time. They may still be growing as artists, but they are ready for the spotlight any time it should happen their way.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)