El Ten Eleven El Ten Eleven

Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty play in a pop group called the Soft.Lightes. but, separated from that band, are the guitar/drums instrumental rock duo El Ten Eleven. Being an instrumental rock duo in this day and age is opening yourself to all manner of prejudice; expectations of either overly aggressive distortion storms or stop/start minor chord epics exploring the outer reaches of, well, listener patience. Instead Dunn and Fogarty opt for door number three: a simple yet dynamic approach that resembles foreshortened Mogwai slow-builders imbued with Pinback’s hookiness and buoyancy. Dunn’s layered bass and lead lines benefit from very spare usage of effects, relying instead on varied approaches such as bell-like struck notes and interlocking chord structures. Fogarty’s drumming is dexterous and controlled, keeping to the non-free-jazz side of adventurous. Instead of revisiting the common ground of repetition and crescendo, each piece quickly discovers a central rhythm or riff, explores or expands it then exits before interest wanes. Like a pared-down version of Do Make Say Think, El Ten Eleven illustrate that a range of movement within rock’s framework is still possible. (Bar/None)