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Eleven Pond – Drive

by François Zappa

The new album of Eleven Pond has just been published, as we anticipated in the interview we had with the band. Drive is groundbreaking, modern and very, very dark, maintaining the identity of the band but at the same time updating the sound, incorporating new references and faces of the group. The album, fifth reference of Jeff Gallea’s band focuses on the obsession for cars but also in the drive for love. Garey Spider and Asa Fox have participated in the recording and the album can be heard and bought here.

The song that shares name with the album, “Drive” is an electro gem, one of the hardest and darkest song of the record. Jeff Gallea already said that the album was going to be much scarier and it didn’t disappoint us. Images of infinite roads going through destroyed cities come to my mind while I am hearing the track. The next song, “Headlock,” is another powerful tune, almost EBM, that can remind us of Front 242. Electro is back with “So Far Away,” song bathed by that melancholy that the band can create so perfectly. In “Miss Wonderful,” the RPMs go down and the guitars go up, while we travel around the world looking for the perfect woman.

What’s the sense of another Velvet Underground’s cover? The answer is “Venus In Shells,” original take where both Jeff Gallea’s interpretation and the use of melodica give an undreamed new live to one of the masterpieces created by Lou Reed and John Cale. The influence of New Order hovers over all of the album and can be found in songs like “Black Keys” which we already knew from a live version. The synth work in “Dream Within A Dream,” which musicalizes an Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, is the best that we have heard in a very long time. Without a doubt, the best tune of the record for this humble journalist. The melodica and the melancholy are back in “Tangerine,” where Jeff sings painfully over an acid background of synths. I really like the contrast between this sad interpretation and the music that invites you to party. Sensuality has always been present in the music of Eleven Pond, since “Watching Trees” and it’s also the protagonist of “When She Asks For More,” song whose genesis was in 1989 and where the guitar takes an unexpected lead.

Sometimes, life passes by too fast and we need things to help us stop time and be able to enjoy the moment. Drive is heard and lived, moves and enriches you, and overall, make you remember that there was a time when a record was more than a group of files.

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