If a band makes an album that sounds like something you and your friends could sing along to while cruising around, from start to finish, then I think that group has officially reached classic status. I wholeheartedly believe that One Eleven Heavy’s Desire Path is one such record.
In the time since their excellent debut album, the band’s sound has sweetened, expanded and developed a greater versatility. Meanwhile, their writing skills have vastly evolved and become way more song-oriented. Track after track, the band just catches your ear with addictive hooks, chiming harmonies and sharp melodies. In fact, this record feels very much like a wiser, more experienced older sibling to their debut.
This is not to say that the album is any way less fun. Actually, quite the contrary, I believe it’s impossible to play this record—especially the slamming “Mardi Gras” or the laidback “Too Much Too Much”—without walking away with a smile.
From swaggering piano-driven stomps, like “House of Cards,” to swampy stoned-country dirges, like the eight-and-a-half minute “Hot Potato Soup,” this record is just loaded with gems that blend the honky-tonk boogie of Leon Russell and the back-woods folk-rock of The Band along with the Southern guitar surrealism of The Hampton Grease Band.
The band’s playing here is tight, despite feeling effortlessly cool. Occasionally, the group drifts off into some scorching jams (my favorite moment of this is during the opening track, “Chickenshit”) but they never venture out for too long. Instead, they typically condense the energy and excitement of a 15-minute excursion into a bite-sized chunk that crushes you like a ton of bricks. They are the salvia of psychedelic bands.
Simply put, One Eleven Heavy’s Desire Path is the kind of party that you hope will never end. You can grab this album from the truly wonderful people at Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records as of tomorrow.