EMP!RE have taken their sweet time releasing ‘Our Simple Truths’, such that they’ve become a staple band on the club and festival circuit in the UK, and have an instantly recognisable sound and look. Frontman Joe Green‘s vocals consistently conduct the EP with his ridiculous range and interesting take on not just the shouting/singing difference, but the actual variation on his singing style. His channelling of Incubus powerhouse Brandon Boyd on ‘Hands And Tongues’ is uncanny, but the bridge is where EMP!RE hit boiling point as it bursts into a screaming frenzy.
The difference between songs in such a short EP is impressive from a songwriting standpoint, and an easy way of ensuring that there’s something for everyone on the record, but, by avoiding monotony, you add a sense of alienation and misdirection. ‘Patchwork And Bone’ has a pop-rock riff reminiscent of Paramore and a Mallory Knox-esque melody, whereas the chorus in ‘Sights’ would sound more at home with the more progressive bands from the continent. EMP!RE are doing their own thing, and who says they should slot into a genre or scene when they’re making decent vocal heavy rock songs?
Although the South West rockers should’ve certainly left out the nonsensical You Me At Six style “I’m a sheep, you’re a shepherd – let me lead you by the hand” sing-a-long end to the EP on ‘Sweet Apollo (Brighter Than The Sun)’, ‘Our Simple Truths’ is a worthwhile, experimental effort from EMP!RE and there’s enough differentiation between songs that they can put out two very different singles and cause curiosity before eventually releasing a full-length.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. | Aspiring freelance pizza eater.