Local Wire

El Ten Eleven @ The Rhythm Room

You've heard of post-punk, post-hardcore, post-grunge, and, perhaps, postpartum industrial pop-folk. But are you familiar with the rock subgenre known, simply and asininely, as "post-rock"? The term has been applied to El Ten Eleven, the Los Angeles-based instrumental two-piece whose atmospheric, non-chorus-based sound murals generally unfold within the boundaries drawn by music critic Simon Reynolds in his 1994 review of the Bark Psychosis album Hex. Writing for The Wire magazine, Reynolds described a subgenre that employed "rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and texture rather than riffs and power-chords . . . and some kind of interface between real time, hands-on playing and the use of digital effects." Fair enough. Still, doesn't the post-rock label smack of — I dunno — grandiose self-importance, in that pro-life/World Series/Sexiest Man in the World sort of way? It seems unlikely that bassist/composer Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty would ever use it to describe themselves, let alone the crisp, incendiary tracks on their latest album, It's Still Like a Secret. Post, shmost. It just rocks.

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Craig Outhier