Assemble the Empire - Assemble the Empire
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February 2010
Without more than a blink of an eye, even Melbourne locals could have missed the rise of alternative/post-hardcore act, Assemble the Empire. Just over a year into their career, they seem to have found their way very quickly towards the top, with the help of a captivating live show and their undoubtable musical talent. With the release of their debut self-titled EP, it shouldn’t be hard for Assemble the Empire to solidify their place in the Melbourne music scene, along with the hearts of a few new-found fans.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Melbournians Closure in Moscow and City Escape, Assemble the Empire craft themselves a sound which captures elements of both progressive rock and post-hardcore. Without falling into the traps of replicating those whose footsteps they follow, they swiftly develop their own original sound, and opening track “Two Hearts Collide” is a perfect example. Carrying a distinct Australian accent, Matthew Tan breaks the water with soaring, stunning vocals, capturing the listener’s attention instantly. Don’t expect him to let go for the next 20 minutes.
Hectic guitars ala At The Drive-In balanced with the ambience prominent in The Receiving End Of Sirens’ albums, the influences Assemble the Empire reflect merge together to create something as inspiring as the initial product. “The Crash” sees the band rock back and forth between dominant, frantic guitar work and powerful vocals, creating some inspired, passionate music whilst still displaying they are very capable musicians. It is, however, the moments where Tan’s voice crackles with intensity which express sentiment in Assemble the Empire’s music, bringing the songs to life, rather than just words on a page.
“Set Sail” manages to slow the pace down, though the intensity only builds. Nicolas Park’s drumming seems to hang ominously over this track, and along with Ryan Bell’s bass lines, develops a darker feeling to the track. All the while, the guitar work of Dale James and Aaron Barnard rips through each track, building intensity and creating ambience in all the right places, switching flawlessly between post-hardcore and post-rock.
With more math rock influenced guitars opening “Dawn of the Dead”, Assemble the Empire encompass yet another genre into their sound with ease. Tight musicianship brings this song together, though it is overshadowed by closing track “Stiletto”.
Opening gently, “Stiletto” lulls the listener into a false sense of security. The basic drum beat, Tan’s typical clean vocals and some “simple” guitar work (after what has already been put on display) suggests that the EP will close without a fight. Instead, the song erupts with emotion as Tan throws every bit of energy into his final lines, backed by a raw, stripped back sound from the whole band. “Stiletto” shows everything Assemble the Empire have to offer.
With one of the most inspiring debut releases from an Australian band, Assemble the Empire’s EP is sure to impress many. With passion, intensity and some fantastic musical ability, it’s safe to say they have the goods to deliver something even bigger in the future. And people say Australian music is dead.