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Album Review: You Will Be Forgotten Eventually by Empire! Empire! (I was a lonely estate)

When you look at a line-up of a band a husband and wife combo doesn’t normally lend itself to rock music, you’d probably expect something whimsical and folkish. With Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) not only you do get a rather convoluted band name, you also get a husband and wife combo that delivers up a delightful blend of delicate vocals, haunting melodies all neatly packaged in an emo tinged sound.

Since the release of the duos last album there’s been a stream of 12 splits and 4 EPs and 5 years on they eventually serve up You Will Be Forgotten Eventually. EE(IWALE) have been pigeon holed as emo revivalist, on the surface it’s a fair assessment, but delve a little deeper and there’s another level there. Closer to the sound of contemporary Into It. Over It the guitars are delicate with riffs kept to a bare minimum. You will find some angsty guitars within ‘We Are People Here, We Are Not Numbers’ but the real magic is within the soft vocal. Each song tells a story. Many are wrought with emotion, lending credence to the emo tag.

‘Ribbon’ gets the album off to a mellow start, early focus on that soft vocal. It is bathed in emotion and the story of a car crash and marriage is told with such sentiment that you feel like you know the person. The vocal of Keith Letinen carries most of the album; the guitars and drumming are, far the most part, relaxed they take the back seat letting the vocal lead and provide the punch. It works wonderfully.

‘Keepsake’ and ‘Stay Divided’ are fantastic songs and two occasions where the story telling within the lyrics are truly captivating. ‘Foxfire’ is one of the more upbeat tracks and while it takes a different tact it’s every bit as good. It showcases that EE(IWALE) don’t have to be reliant on Keith’s vocal, the guitars provide a soulful backdrop and with the reins loosened they sound fantastic. The drumming drives and provides great structure throughout, but again with the reins loosened they show a refined disharmony full of angst. ‘Things Not Worth Fixing’ tells a story of moving home, underachieving and being underemployed – a sentiment many can relate to these days.

As a general rule of thumb here in Alt Dialogue headquarters we like to think that it should be all about the music and vocals and lyrics are secondary. It’s very rare that a band will change our opinion or even let us accept there could be an exception to the rule. EE(IWALE) do it with aplomb though. Album closer ‘The Promise That Life Can Go On…’ is beautiful, it will tug at your heartstrings and be begged to be put on repeat. You Will Be Forgotten Eventually is enthralling from start to finish, instantaneous melodies and captivating storytelling make it a truly excellent album. You’ll come out at the 39 minutes feeling like you’re part of the Latinen’s lives.

AD rating 8.5/10

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  1. Alt Dialogue’s Top 50 Albums of 2014 | Alt Dialogue

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