Wednesday, December 3, 2008

CD Review: 10-4 Eleanor

Originally published in Scene Magazine, December 2008

There a couple of reasons I enjoy 10-4 Eleanor’s latest recording.
I’d like to reflect on the nostalgia sparked by its floppy disk jacket boasting the Galaga fighter ship or write out pretentious musings on the meanings of the track titles, but the music of Words is deserving of all attention.

Try as I might to keep from stuffing underground darlings like 10-4 Eleanor into a genre, Words is a smattering of subgenres: here a little surf punk, there a little skate punk. The difference is in the riffs.

There’s no mistaking a West Coast influence in “Celebrity Taxidermy!” which wields Offspring-styled, boogie board guitar. But then there’s the loosey-goosey grime of standout “Dressed To Impresstevez,” aggressive in the way your average skate punk track ought to be. Its barreling riffs are rough, but not to the point where its delicious melody gets buried; 10-4 Eleanor prevents that happening on any of the tracks.

No, these gutter punks have a superb understanding of fun, never really seeking to make a point but rather to get asses moving. “Massive” is a catchy bundle of hooks that doesn’t thrash like the tracks that come before it, opting instead into a merry dish of dance. The closer, “Midwestern Hearts,” is a bit of a downer though, its midtempo acoustics underlining the misery-able vocals.

The rad CD jacket might scream gimmick band, but the 17 minutes of homely punk goodness within will convince you otherwise.

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