Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Empires - A Better Way

Hear The Track Here

Third time around for The Empires, an Australian band whose brand of Alternative hasn't exactly set me alight in the past, but time marches on and things change. (Ed: one hopes) The thing that saved them is that the songs held up by themselves, good songs, well thought out and very poppy. The kind of thing I actually love, especially when done with the right musical seasoning. I think, therefore, that the band have enough talent on that score to keep on polishing up the side of the band that doesn't happen particularly well; performance and sound. For a while during the early 2000's (I am NOT going to call them the Noughties!!) I reviewed a spate of tracks from an Indonesian band whose sound was abysmal but whose songs and spirit endeared them to me - and a great many others if I remember correctly.

The point I am making (Ed: in your usual obtuse way) is that this is early days and a certain amount of roughness around the edges is to be expected but, as the musician(s) probably realise, the competition is fierce and taking no prisoners. Personally, I loved this track but it took me forever to get used to both the arrangement and the overall sound. Garage band is the term best applied here and I know for a fact there is indeed a large and growing audience for this kind of lo-fi, anyone-can-do-this music. Simple fact is that, no, not everyone can do this. Especially if you get into the amount of detail The Empires put into the actual song and it's very Beatles-like refrains.

The song itself, and the vocal arrangements are the real prize here and it is worth persevering through and getting to it. That won me over from the getgo, but my appreciation of the rest of the track definitely clouded my judgement there for a while. I've said as much before, in previous reviews, The Empires write some dynamite songs but somehow between brain and internet, it comes out sounding half finished. Mind you, it has to be said that this is pretty much a 'live' recording (although I suspect some overdubbing of vocals) and as such you can't really ask for much more than we get. Again, these limitations obscure the talent that is so obviously there and needs attending to, especially if you want to play with the big dogs. If it sounds like I'm being harsh on this track, I'm not, I like it a great deal but I'd like to hear this produced properly. Sooooo, this is exactly this place for producers.... Any takers???? Terrific song but dog rough sound, worth the effort though.

Highly Recommended Indie.

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