Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) & Into It. Over It. split 7″

Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) & Into It. Over It. split 7"I suppose that, after sixty years of rock & roll and hundreds of thousands of bands, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that band names are getting increasingly convoluted, improbably, ridiculous, referential or just plain odd. As names go, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) just about manages to flow nicely although I had no clue just what it’s supposed to mean. As it turns out it’s obscure enough that the band’s Wikipedia page has a section devoted to just this question.

On the flipside of this piece of wax (or the other MP3s if you’re listening to the digital release) are Into It. Over It, a name that isn’t but superficially looks like it might be a palindrome. This, by contrast, is a name that it’s at least possible to read a number of meanings into depending on what you reckon “it” is. Music and relationships are the obvious answers and it works equally well with either, which is cute.

But what’s in a name, eh?

Empire! Empire! contribute a single song on this release, ‘If We Had Found You Any Later You Would Have Drowned’. It’s a mid-pace tune, slightly melancholic but somehow retaining an upbeat feel. The drums and cleanly picked guitars are quite far forward in the mix with the bass offering a more subtle contribution – just the occasional sustained, restrained notes.

It’s not until a minute and a half in that we hear any vocals: these are earnest, quite high, and faintly remind of Saves the Day’s Chris Conley. Even after this point the vocals are sparingly used. Halfway through this fairly lengthy song a bridge changes up the rhythm, with things subsequently feeling somewhat busier and a little faster. All told it’s a delicate, pleasant song with a fair bit of variation, and if you like your 90s emo ala. American Football then chances are you’ll like this track.

Into It. Over It offer two tracks, the first of which is ‘Buffalo, NY’ (the songs on this split, and on the split with Pswingset, are all city-themed). It opens with a simple but pleasant melody, chord progression and simple drums, with a distant, slightly tinny affectation in the production. The rhythm guitar is clean but loose; the lead is fuzzy and slow, and after a while a third guitar – an electro-acoustic – slips into the mix. The song is very simple, that basic rhythm and melody repeated throughout alongside softly sung and spoken vocals, but out of these simple parts an effective song comes together.

The second tune, ‘Brenham, TX’, is also immediately catchy, although this one is a little more energetic. There’s some hooky and resonant lead guitar and a grand melody emerging from the rhythm guitar and vocal line. The lead guitar is deliberately restrained, allowing this simple punky emo tune to sink its hooks into you, and as the song goes on it subtly builds  – not bad for a two and a half minute tune. Both Into It. Over It tracks opt for a simple lyrical approach of telling personal stories associated with the titular cities/towns. It’s an effective track thanks to the casual and relaxed approach their singer has to conveying the everyday.

This split 7″ is a great example of attractive, competent, earthy, honest and considered classic emo. There’s little trace of melodrama in the lyrics, music, art or vocals; in a more genuine and thoughtful world this kind of music might be everyday. As it is, it feels a bit more special that there are so few of us who get to enjoy something that conveys the ordinary so carefully.

Empire! Empire!MySpace | Facebook | Twitter | Last.fm

Into It. Over It | Official Site | MySpaceFacebook | Last.fm

Count Your Lucky Stars Records

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  1. […] only been reviewed in the briefest of forms here on NFI: they contributed a single song toward a split with Into It. Over It. It wasn’t much to base an opinion on a band around but it was a gentle […]