Empire! Empire! I was a Lonely Estate / Joie De Vivre - Split [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Empire! Empire! I was a Lonely Estate / Joie De Vivre

Split [7-inch] (2014)

Run For Cover

No better time to talk about emo than the end of the year, right? And no better way than with two of the most emo bands around. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) continue with a decent follow up from this year's LP You Will Eventually Be Forgotten while Joie De Vivre keep pumping out duos by the split. It's another neat little snapshot for folks now exposed to both bands, as well as a nice bird's eye view for fans accustomed to the heartfelt, sincere and slow-paced songs they both churn out.

Keith Latinen maintains his soul-baring essence here for Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) with honest, wounded words over simple melodies. This year, they were seen as being too mundane and one-dimensional but I think these tracks show why you should be patient because when they rough it, they rough it well. The horns take their emo sound up a notch in the warm ambiance of "Some Doors Aren't Locked. They Open Without A Key" which is probably the most telling of the four tracks on this split. It also serves as an indicator as to why they should have shaken things up a bit more and gotten dirty on the last release, which still resonated well with me.a

Then JDV comes swinging in. With their '90s emo vibe in tow, these tracks sound a lot like the other split-work heard from them in recent years. Horns, thumping basslines and harmonic guitars layered with dual vocals yelling about life's pains. Sure, it can get overbearing at times, but JDV never allow it to. "It Can Be Comforting" and "April, 2009" are as soothing as you'd expect but I'll admit - it does strike hard that we need an LP from these guys. Soon. And we need a grittier take from them. We've had a bit too much of their calm expositions and even a die-hard fan like me can admit that it'll be interesting to see them take their ride for a more explosive spin.