Empire Express

Valleyland

Written by: DR on 09/03/2011 22:44:31

In early 2008, somewhere in a Stockholm suburb in a disused shelter under a subway station, Empire Express was formed by two members of the Western Lodge collective. It wasn't long before they had uploaded some stuff to Myspace, self-produced an EP and earned a few radio plays in Canada, recruited a drummer, bass and brass players and began work on their debut album: "Valleyland".

With this release Empire Express have decided to tread a different path to the one usually associated with post-rock. Seemingly eager to distance themselves from the perceived pretentious, at times miserable, stylings of the genre, they fuse their take on it with vague jazz influences and something called 'kraut-rock', with a positive outlook being the strong backbone of everything. That's not to say musically it is far removed from post-rock, because it isn't; six songs last forty-minutes and it's nothing particularly outside of the box. Simple but effective chord progressions are repeated as they slowly add brick upon brick to their walls of sound over the course of roughly seven or eight minutes, and adept at it they are, too. It's this instant familiarity that serves them well, as the listener will be quickly able to identify with the tracks, but the band's obvious sincerity and ability is there for all to hear and will ensure you're attracted to this for a while.

Fans of Explosions In The Sky will surely appreciate this, not because Empire Express try hard to recreate their sound, but in the way that they have an understanding of how to invoke similar feelings of happiness - many have tried to achieve this and few succeed, but with "Valleyland" Empire Express do. It doesn't overwhelm the listener until a paralytic state of awe and euphoria sets in, instead it's warm and reassuring, like a blanket, and don't we need more music like that?

Download: Valleyland (part 2), Famous Buttcheeks, Stronge 7 km
For The Fans of: Explosions In The Sky, Codes In The Clouds, Moonlit Sailor
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 01.01.2011
Western Lodge

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