I Am Empire - Kings (CD)

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  • New Factory Sealed
  • 2011 Tooth & Nail Records
  • TND26494

San Jose, CA alternative rock quintet I Am Empire unleash the demons of frontman Austin Lyons' past with creative fury on their national debut. I Am Empire's raucous vocal attack and fierce dueling guitars propel their sound, a cross between My Chemical Romance, Anberlin, Jimmy Eat World, and Chevelle. The album title refers to a theme of taking up the crown left by someone who has abandoned you, and being a better person than the one who disappeared. Lyons develops this theme from the emotional scar tissue of dealing with his biological father walking out and his stepfather following suit years later. He has a lot of baggage to unload lyrically, and he does so with emo intensity on lead single "Brain Damage" and other scolding tracks like "Heart Attack," "To the Moon," and "Foxhole." "Love & Despair" helps him come to terms with those broken relationships, using the band's most experimental guitar work as an indication of its possible future direction. The circle completes itself with acoustic tracks "Take Me Away" and "It's Not Fair," ultimately ending in a higher place where the singer can reconcile with life and move on. It's a blistering journey and one worth taking, but make sure you hold on for the ride.

1 Brain Damage
2 Heart Attack
3 Saints & Sinners
4 Hammers & Anvils
5 Love & Despair
6 To The Moon
7 The Elevator
8 Dig You Out
9 Take Me Away
10 You're A Fake
11 Foxhole 3:24
12 It's No Fair

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