eleven eleven
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eleven eleven

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The best kept secret in music


"Unlovable - review"

- David Smith, 2/2/2005
Do you remember when “alternative rock” meant stuff like Simple Minds, the Wild Swans, the Hoodoo Gurus, and the Church? Before grunge, there existed a universe of pop-leaning bands with bright ideas and bright sounds, given to guitar anthems – whether they admitted it or not. They went for a big sound, often replete with reverb, and usually held to melodic verses and sing-along choruses. Sometimes you had the strains of a synthesizer in the background to heighten the romanticism of it all.

Two overlooked bands of this era were Ten Ten and A Drop in the Gray, and Unlovable by Eleven Eleven makes me remember how much I liked those old bands. Surely you have to watch out for the sappy moments, but when these kinds of folks hit their marks you can’t help but give in a little and enjoy the guilty pleasure of their hooks.

Eleven Eleven will appeal to the pop-minded. The music is lush, polished, and well produced. The title track begins with an REM-like riff that opens onto some soaring guitar work on top of a driving beat. You can imagine the singer closing his eyes and craning his head while he sings such lines as “Love won’t come from me tonight” and “Love won’t dress the wound tonight.” Once the chorus arrives, you know these guys have done their homework: it’s rousing and melancholy at the same time, catchy but not kitschy. Remember Cactus World News? Like that. Very well done here, in fact; “Unlovable” would make a nice single and years ago probably would have gotten the band college-radio airplay and an opening slot on a tour with, oh, the Connells or the Lucy Show or something.

“Be There” has subtle, delayed electric guitar and strummed acoustic guitar, as well as dramatic synth strains. Its chorus could probably get the stadium crowd to melt into involuntary mouthing of the words “Won’t you be there.” It reminds me very much of the excellent “Young Manhood” by the Wild Swans. Then there’s “Suicide Tuesday,” which follows a similar tack as the others but feels a little bit too much like that song – its name escapes me – that goes “We were only freshman,” which used to get a lot of airplay (and I remember hearing piped into the bathroom at a movie theatre, which I have to say I hope never happens to Eleven Eleven).

By the time you get to the cut called “Beautiful,” you start to feel like you’ve heard it already. The band doesn’t stray too far from its formula here. The ballad “Paper Cut” gives the very competent rhythm section a breather and puts the synth at the fore. The closer “Voiceless A” sounds like early, Celebration-era Simple Minds by dint of its studio experimentalism, its electronic beat, and its use of stereo delay. It’s quiet and mercurial, and it's typical in that albums of this ilk usually feature such a track – almost like a palette cleanser. And speaking of cleansing palettes, this EP would do that nicely once you’ve OD’ed on your Lightning Bolt or Deerhoof albums.

- David Smith, 2/2/2005
- Delusions of Adequacy

"eleven eleven"

Leave your retro-weary ears at home, because eleven eleven is it. Emerging from the city of brotherly love, eleven eleven has managed to create an album straight out of the '80s British-pop scene. Although this sound may appear purely nostalgic at first, head is far from formulaic or repetitive. A majority of the album places vocal levels barely above guitars, forging a beautifully atmospheric, distorted and sleepy sensation. On "Crush," eleven eleven demonstrates just how effective a simple guitar fill can be. Singer/Guitarist Jeff Giuliani cites Robert Smith and Kevin Shields as influences, and his swaying authorities can be proud. Like Philadelphia, head is something worth getting lost in. --Kevin Lo - the daily pennsylvanian

"Head offers a wide range of songs,from the loud, fun and danceable...."

At first blush, Eleven Eleven sound a bit too obviously influenced by '80's era synth-pop to be taken seriously. But on closer inspection, Head revels that it is far more complex than it first leads on. Eleven Eleven's guitars are layered and rich, holding the listener's attention without drowning out the catchy rhythm section. Head offers a wide range of songs, from the loud, fun and danceable "The Queen of Magazines" to "Crush" and "Unlovable" - songs reminiscent of lit candles and dark eye-makeup. Equally enjoyable are "Forever" and "Absent," both of which evoke memories of the moodiness of the Cure. Perhaps the only drawback of Head is that it tends to inspire hours of rummaging through old albums and cassettes, looking for lost favorites. -

Elizabeth Sokol
- Amplifier Magazine

"Head is a musical oasis in an otherwise desert of today's bland pop and rock genre"

For those of you who have missed me, allow me to apologize for my disappearing act and reassure you that the site will again be filled with my pretentious points of views and biased love of the Chicago indie rock scene. All of that aside, I'm thrilled that my first review back was of a band born from the city of brotherly love. Their music spun webs of wonder in my head. My ears filled with lyrical splendor and melodic bliss. The songs were beautiful, the music was stellar, the band is Eleven, Eleven. Like most, I never heard of them before now, but their debut full length album titled Head is not only catching my attention, but that of the Carson Daly Show, movie soundtracks, and certain ears at Rolling Stone magazine. Within the first twenty seconds of the very first track its very easy to see what makes this band great. And that feeling stays with you for the other nine. Each song seems to sway in and out of soft tones and melody to dynamic percussion and 80s pop guitar rifts. Lead singer and guitarist Jeff Giuliani's voice swoons its way around every syllable becoming an instrument all of its own. Now I don't want my comparison of their music to 80s pop to sway your opinion of them. They borrow from the type that made a guitar sound sweet, the kind of music that gave emotion and clarity to lyrics in a song. Bands like The Cure, Johnny Marr, and My Bloody Valentine. The track that stands out most to me is Eye Con, a very Cure-esque song driven by powerful guitar and splashing percussion. It hooks you immediately and builds from there never releasing you for four minutes. With tour dates soon to be released and there CD already out in stores, Eleven Eleven is a disc to pick, and I'm sure a show to catch. Head is a musical oasis in an otherwise desert of today's bland pop and rock genre. - john flores - FM Sound

"eleven eleven - head"

Eleven Eleven
(2004, Forever Records)

Hailing from Philadelphia, Pa, Jeff Giuliani and his friends play an English modern rock train wreck of My Bloody Valentine and The Smiths. Keep in mind, this is a raw DIY, loose mix of the aforementioned bands, and sometimes a little heavier. Head is the 1st full-length (coming off of last years’ Sunday Grey EP), and if the intent is for people to stop and take note, Head is almost 100% successful. The 10-song record is very good, spending time on texture and white noise, but also combining a soft sense of poetry and subtle melody. The overall listen is a moody one, capturing the genre that inspired them. It’s tricky, you know, for an American band to do Brit-rock well, so for a debut to win out on the first try means that there’s a lot of hope for the future. Head is strong on the rock side of the pendulum, and I hope they pursue this direction further and avoid the ‘ballad’ slump. Eleven Eleven is an unusual hybrid of elements, and I’m glad this CD ran into me. Those who haven’t yet heard are a bit left out. – gtj ÄTop - black and white magazine

"eleven eleven - head"

Very few bands that we review here at DOA got there start playing on Carson Daily’s “MTV Beachouse,” and up until now, I would’ve assumed nothing good has ever come off anything with Carson’s name on it. Eleven Eleven’s debut album, Head, has, like so many other things, proven my assumptions to be totally incorrect. Calling itself “music for a rainy day that never stops,” Eleven Eleven sings depressing songs with a great English pop-rock structure, making a rich and complex album.

Richly textured, layered guitars fill out the English pop sound of Head, lifting the somewhat depressing lyrics of songs like "Every Ill in the World" into dreamy pop gems. Other songs on the album, like the dismal sounding "Unlovable," rocket out of the gate, propelled by fast rhythm section, almost disproving the bands claim to be music for a rainy day that never stops.

Eleven Eleven’s influences show obviously in lead guitarist and singer Jeff Giuliani’s style and musical approach. With the rich texturing and instrumental layering of bands like My Bloody Valentine and the rhythmic structure of bands like the Cure, Eleven Eleven gives us music that reminded me of great old albums, and best of all, the band does it without mimicking these older bands; making its own sound and music.

With richly layered, textured guitars, synth-driven pop rock, and depressing lyrics, Eleven Eleven’s newest album, Head, is a richly complex album. Though billed as rainy, gray music, Eleven Eleven almost repels that label through catchy pop beats and English-pop song structure. The words of the songs are sad and gray, but the feeling is not, and this along with the guitar layering, white noise, and even electric synths all give Head a complexity of its own. After listening to Eleven Eleven, it’s easy to see why the band won CD Now’s unsigned band contest; this is seriously good music from a great band.

- Nick Lombardo, 7/20/2004
- Delusions of Adequacy

"eleven eleven - head"

Eleven Eleven
Forever Records
Man… when I got this, I was hoping it would be the same band that released Lp on Doghouse, back in the mid-1990's. It isn't. Nevertheless, this Eleven Eleven is pretty good too, so I'm not overly disappointed.

Head is a pastiche of Cure-esque guitars and keyboards, pre-Kid A Radiohead song structures and the occasional nod to My Bloody Valentine. The vocalist is a cross between the singer from Remy Zero and Michael Stipe… really!

The majority of the music on Head is solid, late '80s/early '90s guitar driven post-punk, with classics like "Unlovable" leading the way. This song features very REM-ish guitars, with a Wish-era Cure guitar solo. The drums are up-tempo and pounding, as the vocalist croons his heart out.

This album was my first taste of this Eleven Eleven, and while I prefer the one which spawned the Shipping News, I'm quite glad that I got to hear Head .

Daniel Mitchell - Ink19

"eleven eleven - head"

While South Jersey's Eleven Eleven are a modern rock band in the darkest sense of the word, the band takes a cue from the Cure by peppering its somber tact with with warmth on Head, a dynamic album that is consistently likable, despite being ten-to-fifteen years past its expiration date. "Forever" starts the set with a vibrant, single-worthy charge, despite front man Jeff Giuliani's pensive lyrical vision. That reflective feel touches both "A Different Way To Die" -- a mope rocker of the dreamy variety -- and the lilting, sleepy shoegazer pop of Every Ill In The World. Sure Robert Smith and Johnny Marr are two of Giuliani's obvious influences, but when he and guitarist Eric Mallon turn "The Queen of Magazines" into a Catherine Wheel-like stomp, the results shift from damn good to freaking stellar. With The Faint, The Rapture and Hot Hot Heat mining their heroes to major deals and airplay, Eleven Elevenare certainly just as deserving. ~ John D. Luerssen, (AMG)All Music Guide
- Artist Direct (AMG)

"Rolling Stone"

“Eleven eleven was actually one of my favorite bands out of the 100’s of demos I reviewed. It was the first time I cranked the volume!”

Anthony De Curtis, freelance writer / associate editor, Rolling Stone Magazine. - Rolling Stone Magazine


unlovable EP (Oct. 2004)
head (Mar. 2004)
sunday grey EP (Feb. 2003)


Feeling a bit camera shy


philadelphia’s eleven eleven have a sound that can be summed up by mentioning u.k. post-punk darlings the cure, the smiths and a handful of other mope rockers. the roots of this band lie in the relationship between lead singer and guitarist jeff giuliani and drummer rich franchetta. the two have played music together since the 4th grade and have been best friends since the second grade. eleven eleven was formed some years later and began writing and recording material in the mid nineties releasing 4 recordings independently. october of 1997 saw eleven eleven trekking across “the pond” to london, england to test their sound on the country that influenced them. a massive love of the country and their culture ensued along with an epiphany for the band members. they wanted to play and play and play. coming home and touring extensively, over 150 shows per year, the band sold box after box of cd’s out of the back of their van (and later RV) to fans along the east coast. along the way eleven eleven found themselves opening for heroes dave gahan of depeche mode and the smithereens. shows with cake, the thrills and phantom planet began to come about and introduce the band to larger audiences. they decided to take fate into their own hands. in the spring of 2004, eleven eleven formed “forever records” and released their 5th album “head” to college radio with national distribution. the album went on to chart at #179 in the cmj top 200 album chart and demand for them to leave the east coast began. their latest release "the unlovable ep" rocketed to #17 this fall on the cmj most adds chart in it's first week prompting the band to embark on a 3 month excursion coast to coast beginning january 2005. with heavy rotation on xm satellite radio on channel 43 xmu, a cmj college radio campaign this fall and a national tour to begin in january of 2005, eleven eleven are well on their way to define themselves in a market full of contemporaries like interpol, the stills and placebo.