I Am Empire is more than a thrill -- the San Jose four-piece have crafted an album that sits untouched by the majority of alternative rock.
A bold statement, yes, but Anchors explodes out the gates, in a style that's extraordinarly catchy and addictive. The band's sophomore release with Tooth & Nail records plays like a perfect combination of Muse and The Academy Is..., but with a style all their own.
"Gravity Bomb," the opening track, builds on itself in a constant alt-rock crescendo that feels spacey, theatrical and momentous, hitting a groove early on that carries throughout the entire album. "Gasoline," by comparison, begins with a post-punk feel similar to early AFI, before evolving into something which again hits a ceiling that's powerful, edgy and still just as theatrical.
"The Mastermind Is Me" reflects the growth of the album, starting off with a heavier punch. The guitar stays melodic, but there's a darker tone to vocalist Austin Lyons' voice. Which, if there's anything to say for I Am Empire, it's that they maintain a constant balance of dark and light, heavy and soft. It's an album that hits early on and doesn't its momentum once.