Eleventyseven have reemerged after 6 years and their last full length album “Sugarfist” to hit us over the head with a two ton brick of sugary sweet synth-pop-punk tunes. I am so thankful Matt and the guys decided to keep mixing up the synth and guitars through this unique blend of pop-punk. They’ve been creating this sound and moving more in that direction since at least their first independent release “Adventures in Eville” (2009). While The Jellyrox (side project) goes full on synth pop, Eleventyseven mixes some guitars, bass, and drum beats to the mix making it more of a band project. While I enjoy the songs of The Jellyrox, I much prefer the style of Eleventyseven.
The album starts off strong with the synth influenced, guitar heavy pop-punk jam “New Rock Bottom”. I love the perfect balance bass heavy, pounding drums, and synth driven guitar sounds. This bouncy track is sure to bring to the forefront all the best elements of this band’s past especially the great songs on “Sugarfist”.
“1990 Awesome” is a fun little track. Heavy on the synth and light on guitars. The tongue in cheek, and nostalgic witticism is clearly meant to get you singing along and recounting all the fabulous moments the 90’s had to offer. Catch phrases and name dropping couldn’t get better. Matt has a knack of singing with a sly smile.
“New York Minute” brings on the fast paced guitar heavy pop-punk again bringing to mind images of old Fall Out Boy and Good Charlotte. If you have issue with the opposite word for “crap” you may not like this song ;)
My favorite song on the album “Holding Out” is up next. It’s a straight up synth-pop smash hit in the making. This song sums up adulthood perfectly. The synth driven beats and super poppy, and melodic vocals are everything you’d hope to find on modern radio.
“Microchip” is the next song on the record and it reminds me of a male version of a Taylor Swift song, no joke. Is that a bad thing? No of course not, Taylor writes some of the catchiest pop songs this side of the galaxy. More synth, less guitars. It even has a slight 80’s pop/new wave flair.
“Inside Out” is the next track up and it starts out with some synth beats instantly bringing to mind the Stranger Things soundtrack. Synth heavy production with an emphasis on bass and I absolutely love the 80’s influence. It has a darker like vibe musically but Matt’s vocals are still front and center.
The next song up is “Kick the Habit” and is a total bass driven synth heavy pop track. Almost an EDM-like touch on this song. Good stuff.
“Hourglass” is a simple pop-punk song with more synth influence but backed up by some sweet guitars and drums. Classic in the making
Another guitar heavy, synth driven pop-punk song, “Neverafter”, is like the perfect addition to anyone’s playlist. Matt is really straining his voice on this number, almost nearing the aggressive. There is even a slight guitar solo. Another catchy tune sure to get you moving and singing along.
The album ends with “Wish Myself Away”. A total tongue in cheek guitar heavy pop-punk anthem. Matt wears his heart on the sleeve through this song and it’s clearly obvious. A great song with a total catchy beat and sugary sweet delivery. “I wish I was a little more punk than pop, a little less cotton candy rock…..” “A little less Michael Fracken Bay….” hahaha lol. I wish I wouldn’t wish myself away…..
“Rad Science” bridges the divide between pop-punk and synth pop with near perfection. Everything you’d hope this band would become has come to fruition on this new record. It has near flawless production, a solid beat, catchy radio-friendly (is that a thing still?) vocals, and perfectly placed instruments that add depth to a sugary sweet mess of pop. This record dripping with sugary sweet melodies, candy coated pop, and oozes Unicorns! It all makes sense now doesn’t it? If you can get over a few “curse” words (some people may take issue with it so I am just pointing it out in advance as to not generate unnecessary controversy) then you’ll find yourself enjoying this record to the fullest. As long as I don’t have to hear the crap about “well these words are used in context of the song and mean this or that…. LOL, um no, I know what they mean and I love this record so obviously I don’t care, wink wink. This is an independent band and they are free to do so as they wish, like duh ;) Matt Langston has a knack for conveying his witty sense of humor through recorded music and that tongue in cheek outlook is clearly evident throughout “Rad Science”. As much as I loved “Sugarfist”, I felt it was lacking a bit in production and fluid delivery. The group’s years of experience has paid off on “Rad Science” and that perfected approach is felt throughout the album. I couldn’t ask for more in a catchy pop album and would much rather hear this on the radio (whether that be Sirius or FM) than the same old Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato crap they play. Several of the songs on this record could mesh well on either rock or pop channels. Maybe that’s the charm of this album, it rides the line between the poppy side of music and the guitar heavy explosion of “rock”. It is like all the best elements of The Jellyrox and Eleventyseven have collided to create a perfect album.
If Taylor Swift is reading this (not likely), please consider connecting with Matt Langston and take Eleventyseven on tour!
For Fans of: Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Family Force 5, Mayday Parade, The Maine, Taylor Swift, and The Jellyrox