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Album Review: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - What It Takes To Move Forward

If you're a fan of 90's Mid-West "emo" bands like Mineral, American Football and Benton Falls then Empire !Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) may just be your new favourite band. 'What It Takes To Move Forward' from the start sounds like a throwback to above mentioned bands, as 'How To Make Love Stay' is a delicate and soft number with slow tempo and lo-fi feel, something that is consistent throughout.

On top of this, an intense atmosphere is felt from start to finish as Keith Latinen gently spoken works slide in nicely against the bands laid back style ('Keep What You Have Built Up Here' and 'What Safe Means'). By now you're probably thinking this just a record of dreary indie/emo songs but underneath there are signs of passion, for example during the 8 minute long 'What Safe Means', Latinen's vocals manage to soar above the bands garage rock and the band show they can adapt to a soft-loud approach.

Somehow 'What It takes To Move Forward' manages to be a record where it is difficult to pick out highlights, this purely on the basis that its pretty consistent from start to finish, but at the same time can lose the listeners attention as the bands style can, to an extent, become repetitive. Overall though it is a charming record that will please fans of genre and have quickly hooked to this Michigan four-piece. Musically the band go beyond the straight indie/emo band aspect and depth into their work with layered guitars and other instruments like banjos and pianos being used. When combined with the bands intimate and heartfelt lyrics, it creates an atmosphere where you are pulled in gently and made to listen to every word.


'What It Takes To Move Forward' - Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) is available now on Count Your Lucky Stars.

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) on MySpace

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!