South Carolina seems to be budding quite a roster of new artists this year. NeedtoBreathe released their debut, Daylight, last month and now another group that runs their name together is trying to start a revolution of their own. The South Carolina punk-rock trio whose moniker is Eleventyseven is releasing And the Land of the Fake Believe, their Flicker Records debut, this month.
After all the hype surrounding this release, I was expecting something at least a little different from the plethora of punk groups out there. Sadly, …Fake Believe is just more of the same. It's not that certain songs do not work, because there are plenty of sing-in-your-car melodies and obvious radio hits, and in this aspect the album delivers. The problem with this release is that it never tries to be something different. So often, I found myself getting lost amidst a plague of guitar riffs and clichéd subjects that were growing old even when Blink-182 used them years ago.
Instead of describing …Fake Believe's hit single, "More Than A Revolution," or its five or so clones, it would be more fitting to skip on to perhaps the most unique song included on the album. "Reach That Far," the album's last track, is what saved the record for me, by offering a shred of hope that maybe if/when there is a next time around, there could be something better on the horizon for Eleventyseven. A more grown-up, rock sound is adopted for a ballad that explores the limits of one's faith. Sings lead singer Matt Langston, " And God show me how/ I'm supposed to trust in things beyond my sight/ So teach me how to kneel/ When I don't know how to feel/ And show me where You are/ When my faith can't reach that far/ My faith can't reach that far." If the band had made a few more distinctive songs such as the aforementioned, then maybe the album would have faired better.
In the end, most of And the Land of the Fake Believe functions as fluff to an already mediocre release. Eleventyseven brings almost nothing new to the table musically or lyrically, while at the same time borrowing from about every other punk band out there. While they do have a few catchy, radio-friendly songs that are already overtaking radio stations across the country ("More Than A Revolution" hit #1 a few weeks back), any punk band could have done the same. Eleventyseven needs more than a few manufactured "hit singles" if they want to survive in the competitive punk genre. What this band needs is definition and a serious increase in musical quality.- Review date: 5/15/06, written by Andrew Shaw
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