EMPRA’s self-titled album EMPRA

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 Reviewed by Regi Su, courtesy of Kate Wehl.EMPRA EMPRA

Following the release of EMPRA’s self-titled album, the band EMPRA are touring Melbourne and Adelaide from July through until August 16th. This band is on the up- one of Australia’s leading high energy rock bands. Having toured with Fall Out Boy, The Living End, John Butler Trio, Spiderbait, British India and more, EMPRA have managed to give themselves a name on the international stage. After countless nominations and winning prestigious awards, like Livenation International Band Competition, as well as extensive media coverage via TV, radio and print across the globe, I decided to check them out for myself.

EMPRA’s album is rather impressive. It captures the essence of the band, it establishes their sound and their identity, but it also showcases their variety and depth. They traverse emotional atmospheres, both lyrically and mood-wise. For instance, their album tracks from classic rock, whips up a little punk, then slips into a slow ballad. Some of the time, I saw myself watching a 1990’s American High School flick and at other times, I found myself bangin’ my head to its raw grit, catchy beats and excellent guitar and percussion collaboration. This album shows flexibility, while retaining a unique identity.

“I Won’t Give Up” is an upbeat, fast-paced song that opens the album. It doesn’t necessarily set the mood for the album, but it is a good reflection of the sound of the band itself. Later, “I Won’t Give Up” is taken from a recording Live at Revolver, which shows off the strong vocals and electric energy, which just sparks off this band.

In stark contrast, “Strange Condition” is my preferred track. It’s well balanced, catchy, and it’s a slower kind of rock. It’s no surprise that this track has already been shortlisted as a finalist for the Vanda & Young Songwriting Competition. I like the leads and their harmonies. With catchy melodies, the tune begins with a folky air, a bit like Ball Park Music, but then there’s a build-up taking us to the chorus. This track changes up the atmosphere of the album and it’s a professional, feel good sound.

“Doesn’t Make Much Sense” displays EMPRA’s excellent guitar work and collaboration as a whole unit. The guitar skills transfer over to “Sabrina” which features acoustic guitar, ending the album on a nostalgic tone.

EMPRA has rocked the Australian music scene, making waves internationally. If their debut album and tour experience is anything to go by, keep an eye out for them and any future work they do. They’re a great sound- versatile, and both raw grit and polished synthesis at the same time.