Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - Year of the Rabbit [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate)

Year of the Rabbit [7 inch] (2008)

Count Your Lucky Stars / strictly no capital letters

Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) might employ an over the top use of punctuation in their egregiously long band name, but once their beautiful instrumentation hits your ears, it might not matter.

Their two-song 7", Year of the Rabbit surely isn't Fucked Up-style experimental hardcore, but rather a gentle, cascading example of atmospheric mid-`90s emo á la American Football and their followers, Look Mexico. Hell, even the animal characters of the artwork resemble Look Mexico's similar tactic.

The nearly five-minute title track is on the A Side, and it's the highlight here. Empire! proceed with softly strummed guitars, rolling percussion and an understated, cautious vocal delivery with slight, desperate cries occasionally adding to the emotional tension of the song. It's missing a bit of buildup and release, but it's still rather well done.

"Idk, My Bff Jill" is occasionally questionable, though. Several lines sung by vocalist Keith are atrociously out of key; his practical wailing during "Will I ever understand...?" and a few other lines is downright cringeworthy and nearly ruins the song. Luckily, he's mostly singing in the more reserved manner expressed during "Year of the Rabbit," so it can be somewhat forgiven. In fact, when he's vocalizing in the pleasant manner of his, it's much like Chris Conley circa In Reverie -- only not lifeless. It's not as musically impressive as "Year of the Rabbit" but it's otherwise solid.

Ignore those aforementioned moments and you have a fine 7" here. Empire! Empire! might be a band worth keeping an ear on in the coming times.

Year of the Rabbit