Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate): Year of the Rabbit 7"

Lets just go ahead and start by getting my complaints about the Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely Estate)’s Year of the Rabbit 7′. I’ll simply lay it out there as quick and as simply as I can. The lyrics are as whiny and complaintive as they come. For example, in the side b cut, “idk, my bff jill,” front man Keith Latinen states, “I tied a knot in my heart for you / Thinking that’s what you wanted. / I tried to make my voice sincere (Tell everyone how hard it was!)” This is your basic emo-pop structure of writing, following the “I hurt you and I promise I’m struggling with the knowledge that I did so” format. It is my opinion that it is very hard to do this effectively without sounding self-centered and over dramatic. This is exactly how Empire! Empire! comes off.

They also come off over-confident. Latinen tends to reach for notes that he frankly cannot reach. This leaves the group’s attempts at blended harmonies as more of a cluster of notes that uncomfortably bounce off each other and grate on the listener’s nerves. The phrase “stick to what you know” could not be more needed.

To be fair, however, these are the same complaints that people have of early Death Cab for Cutie, Bright Eyes, and Appleseed Cast. Truth is, I can see potential in these kids. It’s still very early in their career and there is still a lot of room for them to grow. More importantly, the band and their record is not completely void of positives. Their guitar use on side A cut, “Year of the Rabbit” is not only effective, but also quite beautiful. The also place their build ups and bridges in places that seem somewhat dynamic in clutching at the listeners attention. I look for them, with time, to become a fairly productive voice of the growing Midwest music scene. The odds are fairly good that you’ll hear their name again.

Empire! Empire! I was a Lonely Estate’s Myspace


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