It’s not an earthquake in Hooksett, New Hampshire, it’s the release of a nine-song CD by the area’s favorite sons, Borderline Eleven. Outside of some acoustics, as on the final track “2 A.M.”, the group offers a non-stop onslaught of heavy guitar battling spitfire vocals of Dan Charpentier (who also plays rhythm). The riffs are inventive and the four band mates – backing vocalist/drummer Andy Mason, backing vocalist/bassist Joe Campbell and lead guitar/backing vocalist Luke Mason – do have a sound that shows the potential to blossom in a great way.
“The Fight” is brash while “747” has nuances that cry out for stronger production. The lyrics are pretty good on this one too, and with anticipated jamming on the club scene that distinctness should be pushing through the rumblings…especially as they spend more time in the studio. The press kit says they’ve been jamming since 2005 and with six of the nine tunes coming in under the four minute mark they have the pop sensibility needed to keep that general audience which appears to have a more limited attention span clued-in on their gospel.
In 2006 they had a six song E.P., Pacific Wasteland, and though the music has remained intact the production a few years later is more refined. As they get their chops in the studio the works should improve even more.
When religion fuses with Rock & Roll it is more fun when it is understood but not thrown in your face. The Rolling Stones “Shine A Light” (said by producer Jimmy Miller to have been written by the late Billy Preston), even George Harrison’s extravagant-in-sound “Awaiting On You All” as opposed to being so overt with “My Sweet Lord.” I’d be more impressed if this group covered “Awaiting On You All” and toned down the religious rhetoric on the webpage…just an older critic giving a word of advice.
A song like “Before You Go” will have more impact when keeping church and state separate…just one opinion, for all its worth. But what do I know? Borderline Eleven is a band with much promise and a superb effort to launch things from.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.