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Empire Empire – Year of the Rabbit 7 inch Review

(! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) – Year of the Rabbit 7-inch
( Your Lucky Stars Records/( No Capital Letters Records
Melodic, twinkly ‘90s indie-emo that will appease fans of the genre.

Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) plays melodic, twinkly ‘90s indie-emo. This is their second release, with their first full length being released last year. The good news is that they’ve gotten better; the bad news is that if you didn’t like them in the first place, they won’t be winning many converts.
E!E! has done a lot of improving in the span of a year. It’s a band instead of a solo project, and it shows. The sound is tighter, the arrangements are more normal, and the songs have a pulse to them that When the Sea Became a Giant didn’t often have. This sounds like a band, and a very well-practiced band at that. They don’t sacrifice the passion at all, but it’s clear that they have their timings down and their strings tuned. This is a much more refined E!E! They’re not on par with American Football, whom I consider to be the masters of this particular genre, but they’re moving towards that goal.
The dealbreaker for many people will be that E!E! is relentlessly emotional. I mean relentlessly. These songs are born out of emotion, feed on emotion, and breathe because of emotion. These songs are crisp, but the passion of emotions is the primary reason they exist.
The vocals are still the biggest giveaway of this mentality. Lead singer Keith Latinen has a high voice, even when he’s keeping it in the low register of his range on “Year of the Rabbit.” When he gets really worked up, like on “idk, my bff Jill,’ it gets to be yelping. It fits quite well with the music, which is flowing, note-heavy patterns and riffs backed up by pulsing bass and surprisingly snare-heavy drums for such flowing music. But it’s still hard to stomach at first.
Melodic, twinkly ‘90s indie-emo with high vocals and lots of emotion attracts a certain type of person and repulses several other types. The good thing for E!E! is that those who like that sort of thing will gravitate towards Year of the Rabbit. The bad thing is that people who don’t like this know they don’t like it. Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) is getting better at their craft and not compromising the sound that they love, for better or worse. For that they should be commended.

-Stephen Carradini