Eleven Minutes Away - Arson Followed Me Home (Cover Artwork)

Eleven Minutes Away

Arson Followed Me Home (2005)

Deep Elm

It doesn't occur often that a band self-produces a record for a label as big as Deep Elm. Recorded at lead singer Chris Veska's own studio, Arson Followed Me Home chisels its way into the masses of bands trying to become the next Taking Back Sunday/Thrice. There are the odd, heavy melodic riffs reminiscent of Thrice (while not nearly as technical), while the majority of the tracks try to recreate the style of background screams that Taking Back Sunday pioneered. There are other parts to the music that seem to try to be Funeral For A Friend. They even dabble into the pop-punk genre in a few tracks, namely the chorus to "I'm a Doctor, Not A Doorstop."

One defining element of their tracks is that hardly a lyric goes by without a harmony. I'm a sucker for harmony, but it does wear a little thin on the patience sometimes. At least they're always on key. Herein lies my dilemma; I like this. Not a lot, but enough to throw it in a playlist on random, or to listen to once a week or so. It's good fun and after I got used to the whole 'harmony' issue, this release grew on me. I have to give the guys some credit for trying to get out of the mold, but this release just didn't create enough of a lasting impression. (Side note: the track "Purpose Is Distraction" really doesn't fit on this release). Eleven Minutes Away has a lot of potential to become the next big thing. They've got a lot of talent and it's showcased well on Arson Followed Me Home, and this effort is better than a lot of the crap being put out there right now. Its problem is that it's missing something, something key that will keep a person coming back for more. Something I can't quite put my finger on. At least it's evident the band put a lot of time and heart into the album.

There really isn't anything original about their sound, no overly memorable guitar licks, nothing that really wants to grab your attention and keep it. There aren't enough heavy licks to be considered hardcore, but the throaty vocals tend to give that impression. It's definitely not the greatest release you'll hear from Deep Elm. I don't say this often, but a lot of the songs just flow into each other, making the album seem a little too dry. The two tracks that seemed to try to do something different from the rest, "Shall I Happily," and "Drilling Holes In His Head Is Not The Answer," just end up going from their emo-filled intros and verses to a chorus typical of the rest of the album.

Here is the main problem: this is screamo, and it's hard to break that mold nowadays. It's almost a dying trend. Only the most innovative bands are going to be able to survive the mass culling that will happen in the next couple of years. With a little more diversity in their songwriting, things could look up for this Burlington quartet, but Eleven Minutes Away are going to have to make a strong case for themselves if they plan on sticking around.

[originally published by punkCANADA.net]