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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Empire Escorts

Empire Escorts

Review by Larry Toering

Empire Escorts is a brand new band from New Jersey on the rise. The music is full of attitude, sweet melody and brutality all wrapped together. Basically it's alternative rock with a very hard edge, like that of the perfectly radio ready variety. The whole set has an infectious quality. Every song on this five track EP debut release delivers a first class modern sound.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Electric Whiskey
A few nice chunky chords open the door to a bouncing riff that instantly gets inside the head and doesn't leave. The vocals are perfect for the arrangement and, the insane guitar solo tops the whole thing off. The guitar even goes into a raunchier version of the riff after the following verse. This is extremely wild and fun to play over and over. It is great stuff!
Suddenly Familiar
The winding guitar intro sets up another choppy riff, but with a less choppy pace. This is very reminiscent of a lot of the best groups of the 90s, including Candlebox, Alice And Chains, Days Of The New and others.  It also has the vibe of later bands as well. It's very melodically contrasting when it comes to the vocals meeting the backing track with equal menace. The title really explains it all, so to speak.
Bury The Man
This has more of a mellow approach, but it's all the more interesting. There’s excellent use of subdued vocals over a chugging rhythm throughout, with tight drum fills and layered harmonies. This is as good as the previous two tracks but something about it appeals more. It's just an all around well done number.
The Pulse
Taking things into a darker atmosphere, this has a long and almost creepy intro, not unlike something Tool would do. There is an industrial feel throughout the track once it gets going, making for an entertaining listening experience. They come back at the end, building up for another go, and it's absolutely brutal.
Let The Random Take
This closer has a nice straightforward approach to the music, but it’s probably the most vocally complex tune on the disc. The bass comes alive here and keeps the whole thing rocking together. This is another great tune with killer guitar work all over it.
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