Tag: classic rock

Album review: Empyre

EMPYRE Self Aware [self-released] The opening track ‘My Bad’ sets out the template for the debut by this Northampton quartet and their wrought, minor-chord melodrama of a debut album. Solid…

EMPYRE
Self Aware [self-released]

The opening track ‘My Bad’ sets out the template for the debut by this Northampton quartet and their wrought, minor-chord melodrama of a debut album. Solid and thick rhythms; crunchy blues-metal riffs, intense-yet-introspective lyrics sung by front-man Henrik Steenholdt. Self Aware is not something that’s ever going to wash over you in the background.

Taking their cues from the likes of Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots, with occasional forays into Muse-like bombast, Self Aware is a thrilling and atmospheric ride to be on. Recent single New ‘Republic’ is the first heads-down rocker to come along, cruising confidently on those Soundgarden-style verses and Metallica vocal workouts. 

A band that’s no stranger to accomplished and almost progressive songwriting ideas, they aren’t afraid to be bold when they need to, as ‘Just A Ride’ with it’s gentle feedback passages, ably demonstrates. But then ‘Too Close’ shows they are able to be just as melodic as any classic band you care to name. Steenholdt’s wail on the latter is something to truly behold too, holding long notes with aplomb.  

‘Drive’ perhaps sees them coming too close to aping their heroes, not offering the originality that’s clearly evident elsewhere on the album.  It’s the mid album dip I guess; same applies to ‘Only Way Out’. ‘Cut To The Core’ though has a touch of the pop-punk in its rhythm, and it suits them well. The previous single, the catchy and hard-hitting ‘Too Little Too Late’, is the one to ease yourself into their world; the drums cut hard, as do the lyrics. By the time the finale, the atmospheric and epic grunge workout ‘Homegrown’, finishes you do feel emotionally exhausted, but in the best way possible.

A hard-working band, the general buzz around Empyre is there for good reason. They come alive in the gig environment, and they’ve done a great job of getting that energy in the studio across these eleven tracks, whilst still adding enough texture to warrant repeat plays. If you like your hard rock with some proggy bites then Self Aware really should be happy nestling in your collection very soon.

Phil Moore

Self Aware is out now

 

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New Music Friday: The Touch

Kettering rockers The Touch today release their second EP, entitled ‘Runaway’. The launch show has sold out, and the band are really making a name for themselves as a hot…

Kettering rockers The Touch today release their second EP, entitled ‘Runaway’. The launch show has sold out, and the band are really making a name for themselves as a hot live draw. Naturally New Boots needed to get some nitty gritty on them.

How did you guys get together?
We got together in January 2017, originally just a group of mates, when Ryan [bass] and Jamie [vocals] started writing songs. They roped in Andy and Matt [both guitar], and then all we needed was a drummer. Having worked with Dave previously we got in touch, and everything went from there.

How would you describe your sound?
Our sound is combination of ’80s influenced rock/pop/punk, incorporated with a modern tone and powerful vocal melodies.

Who do you feel are your main influences?
Each member has different influences which have contributed to our sound. Jamie is really into 80 cheesy rock; Matt has a bizarre combination of Shania Twain and Status Quo; Ryan is really into his pop-punk; Andy has heavier influences such as Audioslave and Alter Bridge, and Dave is into his classic rock. All these components have allowed to form what we believe to be an original tone amongst modern bands.

Tell us about this new EP, ‘Runaway’.
This new EP is rockier than our first, featured some of our best songs to date including our title track ‘Runaway Baby’ – which is guaranteed to get the crowd dancing and singing.

What are your live shows like?
Our live shows are what can only be described as bonkers. We have numerous lights and even a song to get the crowd involved. We have been noticed by the fact that our show interacts the crowd in a very different way to other bands.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
We have played in the likes of Northampton, Brackley and Milton Keynes. MK11 especially is a phenomenal venue, and we would really like to spread further. At the moment we are working a lot with local band Wishing Wolf, and we have previously done work with close friends of ours Empyre.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
That would have to be Rocked Up Hootenanny and our military base gigs, which have been especially fun to get involved with and a great experience for us.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
The band wishes to expand but remain loyal to fans and keep our interactive performance. We would like to branch out into cities and playing larger festivals as our next step, and then who knows where it might take us. We believe we are doing something that is different to other bands, and we have a fair bit of success catching the attention of people, due to us almost being in a genre of our own.

Runaway is out now via the usual digital platforms

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