Review Summary: All that's left is to wait
It has been clear through four EPs and one full-length since 2007, Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) is a band always leaving the listener wanting more. With the exception of Midwestern-emo gem, What it Takes to Move Forward
, the Michigan natives have made a name for themselves with brief flashes of brilliance, highlighted by noodling guitars, off-kilter vocals, and affecting lyrics. Empire! Empire!’s emergence has drawn considerable comparisons to emo-legends American Football of the late-1990s, as the group has been emotive without expelling a great deal of energy. After all, Empire! Empire!’s proficiency crafting moving EPs did transfer to the LP setting, presenting the evidence that the band had tremendous potential for the future.
Akin to Home After Three Months Away
from June of this year, On Time Spent Waiting
is more focused, controlled, and discreet than the full-length. Regardless if better or for worse, the 7" is concentrated in a relaxed manner that brings about greater emphasis on Keith Latinen’s somber vocals. Rarely climbing up the ladder to his routine “yelping” territory, Latinen takes a laid-back approach to tracks such as “I Would Have Stolen a Whole Orchestra,” where he fashions some fantastic melodies to compliment the serene atmosphere. In addition, we see Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) breaking from their norm (if only slightly) with “When You Are Done Living on Borrowed Time,” as the EPs third track is initiated with trumpets and the vocals of Colossal singer Pat Ford. Posing a stark contrast to Latinen’s soft croon, Ford’s baritone provides some necessary variety to On Time Spent Waiting
, signifying that “When You Are Done Living on Borrowed Time” is an underscore of the record. With all of this said, the record doesn’t regress one bit in terms of lyricism, as Latinen and crew are as clever and poignant as they have been throughout the past four years: “The smell of salt hangs in the air, heavy and pregnant with tears. How could I have ever have called this place home.”
On Time Spent Waiting
falls slightly below the magnitude of Home After Three Months Away
in regards to poignant impact, but if On Time Spent Waiting
is an indication of anything, it is that Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) has become so dexterous at what they do, even if a bit of room has been left for experimentation. With the release of two impressive 7”s this year, one could only hope that the Michigan natives are building toward another fantastic full-length in the near future, only giving further acclaim to their already striking resume.