Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Come Widdit: Empires

Location: Chicago, IL
Sounds Like: Your new favorite band

I don’t think I did a very good job trying to describe Empires, but they’re really one of those bands that you’ll get into once you listen to them. Having gained an instant fanbase by boasting a former member of the Academy Is…, Empires is not your run-of-mill pop-punk band. Shit, they’re not even a pop-punk band. On their self-released album, “Howl,” they wear their influences all over their collective sleeves: “Modern Love” is equal parts Elvis Costello and the Police, “Believe” sounds like the Beatles redux, “Spit the Dark” is a less frenetic take on Joy Division or Depeche Mode. That being said, Empires is also one of the most refreshing rock bands in some time.

Like Phantom Planet, Empires is really difficult to peg down in terms of appeal. They can play for the hipsters as much as they can play for the Warped Tour set; they could be your brother’s favorite band or your mom’s. I don’t think I’ve heard too many bands like these guys who can have such a wide fanbase. It’s possible that due to Tom Conrad’s role as guitarist, it would be easy for some narrow minded person to say, “Hey I bet that will sound like that other pop-punk band,” and they’ll spend their career dodging the pop-punk bullet (like Brand New). But I don’t see that. Empires have taken a huge risk by not only self-releasing a record, but by creating a record that is so chameleon-like in nature, I doubt people will try to ask them to play Blink 182 covers.

Related Links:

Empires (Official Site)

Empires Myspace

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