Eleventh Dream Day – Riot Now!

January 01, 1970

(Thrill Jockey)

 

www.thrilljockey.com

 

It’s been five years since the last Eleventh Dream Day
album, but Riot Now! is like the battered car that rattles immediately
to life on a cold morning. Rick Rizzo pursues a beefy, City-of-Big-Shoulders
guitar style, in line with local contemporaries like Silkworm and Red Red Meat,
and not a little indebted to Crazy Horse.

 

Rizzo and co-founder Janet Beveridge Bean share vocals,
Rizzo’s a serrated growl made for cutting through bullshit, Bean’s a shock of
melodic sweetness and light. A conversation rumbles underneath between Tortoise
bassist Doug McCombs and Bean on drums. Keyboard player Mark Greenberg locks in
on organ, transforming repetition into hypnosis on album highlight “Sonic
Reactor.” The tune slows and dirties a classic soul riff, using Keith Richards’
trick of playing horns on guitar. Later a long psychedelic solo careens over
the rhythmic pulse, a bit of chaos integrated into the album’s tightest beat. Softer,
more melodic, but just as powerful is “That’s What’s Coming,” whose folky contours
bend under the force of wailing guitars. “Freefall is the best/It’s when you
can’t rest,” sings Rizzo on the track.

 

After half a decade, rest time’s over. Bring on the
freefall.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Sonic Reactor,” “That’s What’s Coming”
JENNIFER KELLY

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