CD Review: Eleven Dollar Life “Shatter the Silence”

Chicago, Illinois is the home for one of the most eclectic rock bands in the United States, Eleven Dollar Life. Eleven Dollar Life is a five-piece rock group that has taken many different influences and genres of music and blended them together to create the band’s unique rock sound. This sound was developed by the members of the group who are: Bryan Pray on vocals, Chad Wynes on guitar, Marc Gee on keyboards and vocals, Eli Namay on bass and Kyle Voivodas on drums. Taking styles like grunge, jazz, blues, hard rock and much more, these five musicians help create the music that is unique to Eleven Dollar Life.
Eleven Dollar Life recently put out a very energetic and varied release that captures their sound quite well. The 2011 album from Eleven Dollar Life is called Shatter The Silence.
Shatter The Silence from Eleven Dollar Life begins with the track “Wisconsin,” a song about an average area in the country where ordinary people lead ordinary lives. The song features a rock sound with just a hint of ska to it.
“The Problem” is a song that combines a rock sound with a strong dance feeling. This song could easily get the listener to want to get up and move their feet.
“Acronym,” the fourth track on the release, begins with Chad Wynes playing a guitar solo that has a very familiar feel to it- can you say “Dick Dale“? The Dick Dale-style solo segues into a song that features a strong hard rock feel.
While almost all of the songs on Shatter The Silence from Eleven Dollar Life can be considered “commercial,” the song “Biting Thing” is probably the best candidate of all of the songs on the release to end up getting airplay. The arrangement of the song gives it enough “commercial feel” to make it perfect for adding to Hot A/C or Alternative radio playlists.
Once again, the listener is treated to Eleven Dollar Life’s ability to write songs that feature a danceable groove. The groove on the track “Summer,” along with the lyrics about that time of year, make it perfect for playing on your music system during the hot summer months.
Proving that the musicians in Eleven Dollar Life are talented and that they have incorporated many different elements into their sound, the band included the song “Zee” on their new release. Combining funk with a little bit of jazz, “Zee” has become a favorite with the band’s followers in the Chicago area. To add that jazz flavor to the song, musician Danny Andrade adds his saxophone to the mix. The guitar solo by Chad Wynes grabs your attention as it adds a little heat to the track.
The band decides to change pace and slow things down a bit for the remainder of the release. The song “Relief” comes with a slower tempo, and it is also one song that really comes with a message. The message of the song is about the change in climate and what it means.
Eleven Dollar Life continues at the slower pace with the track “Dissolute”. “Dissolute” is a track where the band has decided to change directions in their musical approach once again. This time, the music takes on a very acoustic feel. With this song, the band asks what would happen if a warning went unheard?
While the song “Sound 11” begins on a slow pace, it eventually picks up speed and helps to bring Shatter The Silence from Eleven Dollar Life to a close on an up beat.
Eleven Dollar Life has created a great approach to their music writing, taking the time to write songs that are both strong and varied in their sound. And the variety in their music is what makes their album Shatter The Silence so strong.

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