(Photo Credit - Balarama Heller)
Self-described "Language Arts Rock" band Pinegrove are back with their newest release 11:11. As with everything Pinegrove, you know you're getting something that contains depth and significant thought behind every aspect of the release. The album's title is a fascinating multilayered piece that bandleader Evan Stephens Hall describes in a number of ways. Among a few of the meanings Hall discussed in a press release are a row of trees, people standing shoulder-to-shoulder, or striped corduroy. What's clear is that 11:11 continues the band's strong traditional sound of indie rock and alt-country that blends itself in a way that only the New Jersey-based Pinegrove can.
With incomparable lyrical prowess and thematic range, 11:11 tackles everything from long drives in New York State gazing at dilapidated houses, to the ever-increasing global climate crisis. On 11:11, Pinegrove asks important questions about our duty to one another and what if we're all we have? Musically, the album is brilliant. It's vibrant when it needs to be, such as on the uber-catchy single "Alaska" and the melodic "Flora". Hall and Co. also know when to slow it down such as on "Respirate" and "Iodine".
11:11, continues the journey of a band that has steadily grown from cult status, to potential breakout stars toward their highest achievement. Is this the best we've see from the band? It's hard to say, as they've had a pretty strong discography to date. Hall and Co. continue their rich history of blending theme and melody in ways that few can. I will say this much, I certainly don't want to be in any debates about which Pinegrove release is the pinnacle. For me, there's always something to love about their sound. For your money, you can't go wrong picking up a copy of 11:11 when it drops. Especially, if you've been along with Pinegrove throughout the entire ride.
Rating - 5/5