Released: September 29, 2009
Empire! Empire!’s previous release, last year’s Year of the Rabbit 7″, had some interesting musical moments that were drowned in a sea of emo drama. Their latest, What It Takes to Move Forward, still has its fair share of the dramatic and sometimes it still supersedes the adventurous nature of the music. However, unlike last year’s EP, this set of songs is just leaps and bounds stronger and, where the EP took some subtle musical chances, this time those chances are bold, bold enough, in fact, to make a now tired genre exciting again. While a few songs do fall into the same humdrum of Empire! Empire!’s earlier work, polyrhythms and swelling layers dominate most of these new songs. While the point of it all hasn’t changed, it is now communicated much more effectively. It seems odd that, at this late stage of the emo game, someone has just made what may be one of the genre’s best records, but Empire! Empire! has done just that.
If you’re curious about my rating categories, read the description.