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Eleven Minutes Away - Arson Followed Me Home

  by Alex Halls

published: 27 / 3 / 2005

Eleven Minutes Away - Arson Followed Me Home
Label: Deep Elm
Format: CD


Impressive debut album from genre-defying Canadian group Eleven Minutes Away, the latest signings to Deep Elm

From Burlington, Ontario comes Chris Veska (vocals, guitar), Rob Nagy (bass, vocals) and Steve Valentini (drums), collectively known as Eleven Minutes Away. Starting as a list of twenty-three recorded and mixed tracks, then carved masterfully down to the final twelve, 'Arson Followed Me Home' is Eleven Minutes Away’s debut release on the independent Deep Elm Records, a label that commits itself to music’s real principles, rather than succumbing to the attraction of commercialisation that so often alienates from the real fans. What is surprising is that Veska mixes and records the band’s material at his own studio in their hometown and does a pretty good, professional job too: there is no weakness here and certainly no reason to change the arrangement on the next record. Eleven Minutes Away are one of those bands dabbling with a bit of metal, punk and hardcore but we shall glaze over those invidious comparisons that often arise as a result of the mixing of these genres. It seems pretty clear that the band is intent on producing some heavy stuff as 'Arson Followed Me Home' contains intermittent hardcore screaming within the melodic vocals. By opening with this screaming the band perhaps gives the wrong impression of the album as the balance is good; the fluctuating ties between the aggressive and the harmonised backing vocals work smoothly and help define Eleven Minutes Away’s sound. It must be stated that what is admirable is that the band does set its stall early on. 'Arson Followed Me Home' is more than imaginative when it comes to song construction. The vein of creative imagination is found here also especially in the guitaring in 'Enjoy The Disaster' before skipping into very slow, melodic music in 'I Am Tragedy'. 'Arson Followed Me Home' does occasionally flow along the lines of emo, evidenced in 'Purpose Is Distraction' and 'Shall I Happily' before the pace picks up again half way through the latter. There are few tempo change surprises however, which does come as a disappointment given the mixture of genres used by the band. In fairness, it’s possible to overrate and underrate this genre of music as it has no particular home within music’s stratification. Not quite up to the quality of Hot Water Music or Death By Stereo (granted they have a slightly different sound but nevertheless mix similar styles together) Eleven Minutes Away have given a damn good shot at it and time will certainly give the necessary experience to take the band’s music further; further by pushing everything up a notch. This is a good album if you enjoy this kind of music but perhaps a difficult album to attract others to their cause.

Track Listing:-
1 Atrophy Acetylene
2 I'm A Doctor, Not A Doorstop
3 P.S. I Hate You
4 Danger Inc.
5 Purpose Is Distraction
6 Shall I Happily
7 I Am Home
8 Enjoy The Disaster
9 This Is Only An Emergency
10 I Am Tragedy
11 Alias: Grace
12 Drilling Holes In His Head Is Not The Answer

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