Million Empire have been on the circuit for about 10 years now and the band have really gotten their names across around the West Midlands music scene. With their new EP “Visceral” due for release on 30th March, Visceral is their 3rd EP to date. With influences heavily from the 90’s alternative rock scene, you can hear the likes of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam in their music with flavourings of their own unique ability. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and listening to their new release.
“Not in my Nature” is straight to the point with the vocals starting straight away with a rebellious attitude. Not in my Nature deals with identity and sticking to rules to keep yourself “you”. Going out of your comfort zone and nature can make someone go off the rails and turn into something that they’re not. The vocals sound quite similar to Josh Franceschi out of You Me at Six and has that twang, but the song itself is heavy and progressed to become a grunge based track that rebels against the system. The bass plays a melodic riff half way through which gives the song a whole new style before it starts to build back into a powerful part where the chorus is played in a half time speed. Dynamically, the song builds and keeps you caught throughout.
Starting with very faint drums, “Fear of Thirteen” makes you unsure of what’s to come. It kind of fools you in the way to think “oh this song is quiet, let’s turn the volume up” and before we know it, a powerful foot stomping riff comes into the mix. Musically, the song sounds heavily influenced by early Soundgarden on their Badmotorfinger album. The song is fast and sometimes a bit too much going on. “I hit you once, you hit me twice, but we never took the time to see who’s right” is a lyric that can be really quite dark, maybe this is about a relationship between two people; lovers or friends, who constantly fight and never actually sit down to talk about issuing their problems. I could be completely wrong, but that’s the vibe that I’m getting from this track. Triskaidekaphobia is a fear of being afraid of the number 13 which a lot pf people do have, so perhaps that’s what the song is technically about. It’s scary and constantly a punch to the stomach in the dark moments.
“Head vs Heart vs Brick Wall” is constantly pumped with energy. You can definitely hear At the Drive in as an influence for the boys of Million Empire in this track. As a singer myself, I always try to listen out for catchy little hook lines that other singers sing and the catchiest part of this track has got to be the lyric “I haven’t felt my heart beat” which features in the chorus. As a song, it’s dynamically always in your face, which can be a bit too much, but it does work well.
Clever guitar parts come through the track and as a whole, the levels at the beginning of “Cancer in the Rut” are all over the place (in a good way) which is really different to their other tracks so far as they’ve been constantly loud. With this being the longest track on the EP, it’s definitely the most clever out of the 5, with the dynamic shifts. I must say though, I would love to know what the singer is really singing about as the lyrics seems to be addressing a subject but not really identifying what’s exactly on their mind. I can really relate to an artist when they get personal with their words.
“Please” is the ballad of the entire EP and it’s also a lovely close to it. The guitar is featured with a lovely tremolo effect that gives the song such a bold edge to it. Over half way through the song, it does pick up and start to get heavier, but before we know it, the momentum has gone and we’re back to the quiet, eerie beginning of pleading for forgiveness.
Real clever EP by the boys of Million Empire, they’ve definitely gained a fan from me!
Favourite Tracks: Not in my Nature, Fear of Thirteen, Please