Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)

Home After Three Months Away EP

Written by: DR on 10/07/2011 21:42:23

Wow, so I've just read another review for this EP which reminded me that Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate)'s debut, "What It Takes To Move Forward", was released close to two years ago! It really doesn't seem that long, but since then there has been no shortage of Count Your Lucky Stars bands (the label is actually run by E! E!'s frontman Keith Latinen) to try and fill the void between substantial releases from this band - a couple of split 7"s with Into It. Over It. and Football, etc. were fine, but they weren't enough. Now the leaders of what I like to call 'emo-revival' are back, with a four-track EP titled "Home After Three Months Away".

The obvious influences for E! E! are seminal bands like American Football and Mineral, who took a more considered and laid-back approach compared to some of their contemporaries. "Home After Three Months Away" is, too, more lack-back, especially when compared to their debut which had quite belligerent tracks such as "Keep What You Have Built Up Here" and "It's A Plague And You're Invited". The instrumentation is fairly mid-tempo throughout, Keith's vocals are soft and barely strained, the songs have been condensed from being eight-minutes long to around three minutes, and the lyrics read like poetic diary entries.

The EP is filled with highs and low, like the slow-burning build-up in opener "The Loneliness Inside Me Is a Place", which is lead by the build-up in Keith's voice as he reaches towards the central lyric "All things bear this- a purpose! Or romance! / But the truth is much more complicated than that" followed by the eventual come-down of "and I am still trying to learn how time is a gift (as much as it is a burden)". My personal favourite being "I Swim Like A Minnow", which follows a similar pattern as the aforementioned opener (and actually the other two songs) with Keith's whispered voice atop plucked guitars. It gradually rises to the point where you're expecting a burst in emotion, however, it instead drops back down for Keith to see the song and EP out with thoughtful vocals and lyrics: "This was not the time or place to address the emptiness that hung around us / or how the end of this trip birthed us with uncertainty of what to do next".

"Home After Three Months Away" is only ten minutes long, a little slice of how Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) can draw you in with soothing vocals, fragile guitar-work and gorgeous lyrics. It's how this genre should be. Granted, there's not much variation - but that's not really the point. What's more, it doesn't lack authenticity. It's not like they're playing this style for the sake of playing this style; just listen and you'll be sold on their sincerity.

Download: I Swim Like A Minnow
For The Fans of: American Football; Mineral; Football, etc.
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 26.07.2011
Stiff Slack Records

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