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Riot Now! (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

It's no real surprise that after nearly 30 years as a band and five years since their last album, Eleventh Dream Day reconvened to record again. They've practically made a career of being underappreciated but something continues to bring them back to make music together despite a myriad of divergent paths over the years. What is a bit of a surprise is that this is probably their hardest-rocking album since Prairie School Freakout, their debut full-length from 1988. They come charging out of the gate with "Damned Tree" and its snarling double-tracked guitars, and the the pace barely lets up until "Away with Words," which only starts soft and slow then builds in intensity. "That's What's Coming" is a bit slower as well (and reminiscent of Prairie School Freakout's "Among the Pines"), but still has nice howling guitar. The rest of the tunes are your basic Eleventh Dream Day scorchers. Doug McCombs turns in some killer basslines, with "Satellite," "Divining for Water," and "Tall Man" as standouts. Mark Greenberg's keys are very subtle (this is a guitar band, after all), but he really adds to "Satellite" with some great weird sounds. Janet Beveridge Bean sings co-lead on "Divining for Water" but sticks to drums and backing vocals outside of that. Rick Rizzo has upped the intensity for this one, and his barely-in-control guitar has never sounded better ("Sonic Reactor" is classic Rizzo guitar). At this point, EDD will probably never get the recognition they deserve, but those in the know are sure glad they're still at it.


Formed: 1983 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The career of the noisy guitar unit Eleventh Dream Day -- one of the most resilient and criminally underappreciated bands to rise from the Midwestern underground community -- was a textbook study in alt-rock endurance; despite a nightmarish major-label tenure, ill-timed roster changes, and commercial indifference, the group persevered, ultimately emerging as elder statesmen of the flourishing Chicago independent scene of the mid-'90s. Eleventh Dream Day's origins dated to 1981, when singer/guitarist...
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Riot Now! (Bonus Track Version), Eleventh Dream Day
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