- by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:8 Release Date:2019-09-20 Label: Beyond Beyond Is Beyond
Back in 1998, a Swissair flight from New York to Geneva crashed. The catastrophe acquired the name ‘One Eleven Heavy’. For some reason, five guys comprising a band of musicians from both sides of the Atlantic decided to pick up the name for themselves. And while their initial album was named Everything’s Better, and got some rave reviews, it is not that they personally had much luck. Literally.
Their bassist almost got crushed by his bass rig and they were at one point also involved in an almost fatal car crash. Certainly not a sign of things getting better. But on the evidence of their second album Desire Path, they should, at least if the fans of psych/country/jam rock get their hands on this one.
One Eleven Heavy not only know their Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers/Gram Parsons stuff inside out but are able to combine all those sounds into a compact, brilliantly played and sung whole. While Everything’s Better was more of a nod to the genius of The Band, Desire Path explores more The Grateful Dead/ The Allmans side of their sound.
The opener “Chickenshit” is removed miles away from its title and sounds like an electric, digested version of Workingman’s Dead. With some jamming to boot. On the other hand, tracks like “Wild Hair” or “Potato Soup” are like The Allmans in their more relaxed, non-progressive mood, with Gram Parsons hanging in for the fun.
You cannot label One Eleven Heavy's sound derivative, no matter how much you can recognize their influences, as they are able to mould them into something their own, recalling and mixing in anything that sounded great to them on the way, like the’Let It Bleed/ Exile On Main Street-inspired “Stir”.
It is all there, and a bit more, on Desire Path and should bring One Eleven Heavy better things, they deserve them.