The Hour Is Nigh

The self-proclaimed “hardest working band on Oahu” has finally got an album to share with its staunchest alternative rock fans – one that’s worthy of the band members’ yeomanlike work ethic of nonstop gigging around town.

To celebrate the long-awaited release of 11th Hour’s debut album Kilroy Was Here, the four-person outfit of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Doyle Purdy, lead guitarist Mike Elwood, drummer Caitlin Bunner and bassist Ron Cameron is throwing a CD release party Saturday at Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki. The show starts at 10 p.m.


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The long-awaited CD release party for Mike Elwood, Caitlin Bunner, Doyle Purdy and Ron Cameron happens Saturday | 11th Hour photo

“We’ve been together for about two years, working around the clock, gigging every week and everywhere, and playing songs from Kilroy for the last year or so – testing the waters, so to speak, by seeing what songs work with live audiences,” says Purdy, who knows a thing or two about “testing the waters” as a retired chief warrant officer with the U.S. Navy. “We think we’ve got an album that people will love. We’re excited about it.”

Recorded at Highway Recording Studio in Hawaii Kai, the 10-track LP is full of gritty, guitar-driven music that reflects Purdy’s heaviest musical influences: Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana. Blood-pumping rock anthems Company of Wolves and Give It To Me, which has been getting radio play, are sure to please the most ardent of rock fans, while other tracks such as Compromise and Love Don’t Hate reveal a somewhat softer, reflective side of the band that could attract a throng of new listeners.

“I wrote most of the songs on the album,” admits Purdy, who honed his vocal chops from many nights of “singing karaoke at home,” but didn’t pick up the guitar until a friend turned him onto the instrument about 15 years ago, which is about the same time he began composing music. “The messages in the songs stem from personal experiences, but they also deal with life themes that others went through.”

Here’s what else Purdy told Musical Notes:

MN: What’s the story behind the band’s moniker?

DP: Early on after we had just formed the band, we had a lot of shows that were scheduled, but no name. Then, right before our first performance, our former bassist, John Manzanares, made some comment that we were “literally in the 11th hour,” and we still had nothing to call ourselves. We all kind of looked at each other and said, “That’s it.”

MN: You guys seem to be gigging all the time. Are there that many rock-starved fans in Hawaii?

DP: Oh yeah. The places we play, like Chez Monique,

Hard Rock Cafe and O’Toole’s Irish Pub, have a lot of military and tourist types who love to listen to classic and original rock.

MN: But to increase your fan base, wouldn’t you have to start thinking of capturing a Mainland audience?

DP: Sure. As a band, we talk a lot about going stateside. But really, that’s more of a long-term goal. Our immediate goal is to hop over to the outer islands and play some concerts. We’d love to rock out Maui.

MN: I guess nothing beats playing live, eh?

DP: Definitely. Getting a positive reaction from the crowd makes gigging fun and worthwhile.