Empire Empire’s debut EP brought back a rush of fond memories for this reviewer. Echoing the golden age of emo, Empire Empire hearkened back to a simpler time where emotion was real and unfabricated. Bands like Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate were leading the charge and captivated the underground with their raw sincerity. Empire Empire’s debut showcased that same kind of unbridled energy, it just lacked focus. The band returns with two new songs and this new material shows off a remarkable progression. First, the recording is a noticeable improvement over the band’s debut effort. Instrumentally, everything sounds crisper and the arrangements are tighter. Vocally, Empire Empire mastermind Keith Latinen sounds much more confident in his delivery. The emotion is still present here but there is a wonderful restraint practiced by Empire Empire on these two songs. While the raw, unpolished feel might be missed at first, Empire Empire reveal something much greater here. Empire Empire leave little doubt that they are progressively growing into something special right before our very eyes.
RIYL: Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, American Football
(Both songs are available for streaming on the band’s Myspace page below.)