Hear The Track HereFirst track from my review list over at Popspace is a band I first encountered last month, thanks to our old friend producer par excellence, David Pendragon. Be All You Can Be (August 2009) came as a real blast of fresh air to a increasingly jaded hiphop reviewer (that'll be me folks!!) because - to be honest - there are so many things you can say about the endless hiphop search for riches and bitches. Brave Empire's version of hiphop is remarkably different to the norm being a massively impressive blend of rock, alternative, hiphop and other genres that definitely makes it stick out from the crowd. It also helps that it is a keen pop song, helping it to a nice fat Must Have from me and believe me, that doesn't happen often in this genre.
David's connection to this seven piece Australian outfit is as on-line manager/fixer, a job he is obviously relishing. Not that Brave Empire need to use the mans prodigious production and/or engineering skills because they kick up a smart old soundtrack all on their own as a quick listen to either of the tracks on their Soundclick page will show. Personally, as much as I liked Where We Belong I think if I had to express a preference I'd go for Be All You Can Be simply because I think its by far the better tune. Having said that, if you think all hiphop sounds the same, Where We Belong will certainly dispel that assumption right quick.
Not sure exactly who is contributing the main rap vocals on this track but obviously Shauna is the female voice and very nice it is too. She brings the Alternative feel to the track in the way she phrases and in her style, helped along by the massed guitars of this band. If that doesn't sound very much like the hiphop you are used to, once the rap gets going (Shaka?) you will see that this band really do have roots in these different genres. Considering the relative youth of this excellent band, their future looks good, especially if they can keep up this level of songwriting and production. After all, I've never known David Pendragon to put his name to something that isn't wholly worth it, and that alone should have you reaching for the Click Me button right now...
Highly Recommended blend of hiphop, alternative and pop.