Album Review

Eleven Pond – “Assemblage” – [Dark Entries]

Thurston Hunger   8/30/2013   12-inch, A Library

Rochester NY, 1987…five piece ice-wave pop. This is their
sophomore effort which was cryogenically kept from the public
until Dark Entries pried the lid off it. I can see how these
gents could listen then to music at that time, and wonder why
they weren’t we getting strangelove from MTV? Peppy bass lines
prominent on tracks, like a New Order dance mix. Enough guitar
for those who were still saluting rawk (here we have even some
six string solos which most android analogs would forsake) but
the synth is definitely what drives the songs here. That appears
to be a main change from their debut “Bas Relief.” Synth here is
skillfully employed. Minimal Wave flags will fly on “Blood Ruins
Film” (as they did for “Watching Trees” which was on a comp
earlier and turns up here in demo form). On “Gold and Green”
the band and vocalist James Tabbi grab at the brass anthem ring
but the slick moves subside for a great broken down ending.
I preferred the “Kiss by the Hotel DeVille” track (a sonic take
on Robert Doisneau’s famous photo) and the harmonized vocals
over the swing beat of “The Stain.” The band evidently had a
programmed machine *plus* electronic drums at the time they
broke up, and I think Tim Masick is on “The Stain” hammering
a byte more insistence into that cut. Cool stuff, lyrics a
bonus and printed too. By the way, this is another example for
the eventual KFJC Mayhem Special showcasing US bands singing
with UK accents.

-Thurston Hunger

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