Instant Empire - Keep Up!
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: January 15, 2013
On Keep Up! Instant Empire serve up the perfect listening experience for those of us with a short attention span. Three songs, ten minutes. Each of the songs is delivered with an undeniable urgency and an aggressive edge that refuses to let you catch your breath. Keep Up! is at once more polished and more raw than anything else Instant Empire has done to date. The songs are well crafted with no loose strings or superfluous parts, but the attitude that prevails throughout gives the entire album a brash, confrontational feel.
Instant Empire credit T.S. Eliot as an influence behind the writing on this album. Fortunately for those who are running low on Xanax, the Prufrock in this piece makes sure to compliment his depressing self-doubt with the healthier tendency of embracing each fleeting moment. Opener “Flickering Youth” notes that “we’ll never be younger.” The line is full of just as much excitement as it is disappointment. This is indie rock goes YOLO, but it’s tempered with a constant hesitance. Instant Empire borrow both the confidence and the internal conflicts that Drake uses to craft hit singles out of philosophically tinged internal monologues.
However, Instant Empire make no attempt to co-opt any of the R&B smoothness that Drake brings to the table. The Death Cab pop sensibilities that were present on the last Instant Empire release are also largely absent.Keep Up! is the head on collision between Manchester Orchestra and the jagged guitar work of Desaparecidos. It’s as much of a rock record as can possibly be crammed into ten minutes. Raw enough to come from a garage, but with enough foresight to set itself apart from the standard EP.
Keep Up! is a smart record about relationships, alcohol, and the twilight of youth. The indecision present throughout is portrayed through the shot glasses on the cover. Some full, some split. Close enough to taste it, but with the dawning realization that close enough might be as close as it ever gets. A record about finding a temporary clarity while basking in the notion that time isn’t slowing down for anybody. Now if only Instant Empire could find the time to release a full length album....