F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said that there were no second acts in American lives. He also said a bit about trombone players and jazz music. He also predicted that pop-punk has had its day. Maybe. He was wrong about a lot of it. Eleventyseven are not only back after a three year hiatus, with a new album, but Rad Science is their fifth to date and their first on their own label. This feels very much like a second act to me and pop-punk certainly isn’t dead, it just needed a bit of a polish, a re-tune and is ready for another spin round the block, leaving tyre tracks on the street and the smell of burning in the air and Eleventyseven have proven to be just the people for the job.
But enough of the tenuous car analogies. The band’s chosen moniker for their music is neon-punk and as journalistic labels go it is pretty much spot on capturing their blend of vibrant pop sensibility and punk energy, old-school guitar muscle and cutting edge electronic futurism and Rad Science is neat slice of sassy accessibility and clever genre-splicing.
Holding Out, the current single, leans heavily on the EDM side of their signature sound, weaving together dance vibes and big choruses, a surefire winner with the dancefloor set and compare this with the slick but visceral punk urges of opening salvo New Rock Bottom and you have an idea of the limits of the territory that the band work in. And these limits are wide enough to encompass Kicking The Habit’s futuristic electro-rock, Inside Out’s skittering pop, the hat tip to pop-punk past of New York Minute and the more balladic dance grooves of Microchip.
It’s safe to say that there is plenty going on here, but then again this is a band which has more than earned their stripes, know a thing or two about writing songs which are both commercial and immediate but which also appeal to a more discerning musical palette, and who are about to embark on a really exciting second act. F. Scott who?