vrijdag 11 november 2016

11.11. Xander and the Peace Pirates

I can jump high or I can jump low, but there's simply no denying that everything on this album has been done before. Even chord sequences sound familiar. Who cares when the music is such a joyous celebration of what makes this funky rock sort of music so good? Perhaps truckloads of pundits, but not this reviewer.

Usually I try and publish a new record one or two days before the release, but 11.11 is simply to good to pass by, isn't it? Saint Maarten's day here where I live, Armistice Day in other parts of the world. So let's publish on 11.11 at 11.11. By the way, how many 11.11 titles are there in popular music? This is the second one this year after Dinosaur Pile Up's album 'Eleven Eleven' that was reviewed on this blog a few months back.

Xander and The Peace Pirates bundle everything from Wild Cherry's 'Play That Funky Music' to Danny Lademacher's guitar playing in Herman Brood's hey day in one celebration of rock and roll. Add a little southern rock in the best Lynyrd Skynyrd tradition with a pinch of bluesrocking soul and you're there.

The two brothers Xander, Keith and Stu, were discovered playing on You Tube by the CEO of Gibson after which they were asked to showcase for the brand. This led to the involvement of producer Eddie Kramer and a record contract. With a final result leading to the release of 11.11 on Remembrance Day 2016. What else?, I might add.

There's one thing against 11.11. All the dangerous edges have been filed away meticulously. Like a high end industrial product it is aimed at the highest common denominator of music lovers. That could lead to a disqualification, but it does not in this case. Xander and the Peace Pirates lay down an extremely pleasant mood, provide most of its songs with an interesting hook or two and play extremely well. The hint at danger that remains on record will, without doubt, be explored intensively during live shows. I can't speak from experience, but I think they may be spectacularly good.

Promo photo
The foundation of the band is in very capable hands. Joel Goldberg (bass) and Adam Goldberg (drums), also brothers?, fill in the underside of the music that goes from elementary to hints at progrock. The two handle all in a capable way. The third guitarist, Mike Gay, lays down the slide parts. Adding atmosphere and a craving for something which is undefinable. All the other guitar parts come from the brothers Xander. From clean acoustic to dirty solos ('Dancing In The Light'), all can be found here, if Mike Gay doesn't jump to the lead that is.

On 11.11 Xander and the Peace Pirates brings the listener back decades. The glorious 70s are celebrated, the days before punk broke and then nihilism triumphed for a short while. There have been other artists through the years that tapped the same vein, one of my favourites being Dirty Sweet and less favourite The Black Crowes. This band does a lot of things just right. They know exactly what they are doing, with a perfect execution of its music.

Enough said. Everyone with a love for 70s rock in its different guises ought feel at home with 11.11.


You can listen to 'Fire' here:


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