Instant Empire - Heavy Hollow
]Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: May 8, 2012
If Manchester Orchestra ever evolve into an indie rock band complete with indie pop flourishes it will sound like Instant Empire. On Heavy Hollow Instant Empire cast yearning vocals, cascading between hope and doubt, over lush soundscapes. The result is an EP that conveys the potential of the band and leaves the listener wanting more.
As previously mentioned, the vocals and the lyrical content on this release sound like newly surfaced offerings from the early Manchester Orchestra songbook. In fact there are moments where the congruence is impressive enough to catch a casual listener off guard. This is not to imply that Instant Empire is not its own band. The musicianship onHeavy Hollow runs the gauntlet between Death Cabesque indie pop and the heavier indie rock to come out of Saddle Creek. Instant Empire smoothly incorporate a multitude of styles to create a dynamic release. Listening to one track off of Heavy Hollow may be a satisfying experience, but you have to listen to the whole EP multiple times to truly appreciate the entire scope of what Instant Empire have to offer.
Another example of the dynamic nature of Instant Empire is the constant juxtaposition of the light with the dark. “Counting Backwards” begins with the line “I really love this town.” However, it quickly unravels into a dream about drowning in the regrets conjured up by suburban complacency. Another standout track is “Missing Elderly.” On a track that approaches six minutes in length the music is brought to a screeching halt and the lyrics are delivered slowly and deliberately. The song weaves together the themes of aging, religion and exiting on ones own terms to tell a convincing story that is simultaneously chilling and a cause for hope.
An EP is not successful unless the listener is left disappointed when it comes to an end. Instant Empire accomplish that goal by compiling six tracks that are cohesive but also varied enough to show the bands many talents. Heavy Hollow represents a taste of what the band has to offer. More importantly though, it’s also a tease because when it ends after twenty-five minutes the listener is left to wonder how Instant Empire will capitalize on its potential.