Pioneer 11 – How Dare You (2021)

If you are looking for an album that offers new layers each time you listen, you are in the right place. Pioneer 11 has just what you need with their EP How Dare You. The five tracks of the EP dips into feelings of identity, greed, social media, overconsumption and much more which only develop more as you listen to the tracks over and over.

The layered tracks come from Bryan Gomez (vocals, guitar, synths, drums) and Alex Hastings (bass, synths, drums). The best friends are bridging the gap between classic rock and beat-driven synth-wave. With songs that are rather different to each other, they take you on individual journeys that leave you far from where you started.

The EP opens with ‘Run that Cell’ which is a look at social media, identity, isolation and voyeurism. The melody warbles and trills to life against your ears leading you into a wavering synth soundscape that is really infectious. Gomez’s vocals have this light echo to them as they slice through the synths and wrap their tendrils around you. The electronic edge of the song helps boost the messaging of the lyrics. There are a lot of layers woven into the track that draw you further and further under the hazy spell before you are pulled into a more pulsing tone. The guitar that soars through the melody later in the track is wonderful and brings a sense of change.

‘Mafia Business’ has a sombre feeling to the opening which really sets the vibe of the song. While the opening track was all electronic pop, there is something more soulful to this song that comes through in both the melody and the vocals. Through the song, you are drawn into a consideration of mourning and loss. While this song is a cover of the track by 03 Greedo, there is a unique twist to it that makes it a wonder to listen to.

There is a different type of haziness that comes through on ‘Bummer Man’. The melody flows with a heaviness that is almost lazy like your limbs are too heavy to move. The vocals enhance this feeling as they seem to come from a great distance while offering a delicate touch. While packed with a sort of malaise, the music has these hazy tones that flow through your and are addictive. You can easily sit back and let this song wash over you while you close your eyes and float on the vibes.

The slow dip at the end of the last song brings you into the livelier vibrations of ‘Shifty Eyed’. The melodic lines have your body moving before you realise while the vocals hook into your brain and get you thinking. There is an interesting contrast in this song with the beats getting you moving while the vocals are smoother and have you slowing down a little. Through the lyrics, you are hit with feelings of greed mixed with a slight edge of obsession.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Doomsday Plan’ that slowly beckons you into the soundscape. The electronic tones are like lights blinking in the distance making you want to follow them through the twilight landscape. The vocals have a whispered feeling like a conversation held in the dark hours of the night. This does take a turn on the chorus that questions you while the melody climbs higher against your ears. There is a lot going on in this song that makes it amazing and will have you sinking into it.

Pioneer 11 uses five very different songs to get you hooked to their multi-layered sound in How Dare You. The EP touches on a lot of different emotions with new ones shining through each time you listen. The unique tones of each track make you want to play the EP on repeat just to absorb more of the messaging and addictive flows of the band.

Find out more about Pioneer 11 on their website, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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