For Fans Of
The Crown The Empire back story is nearly as generic as their sound. The band have a fairly successful EP titled ‘Limitless‘, which gets them signed with Rise Records on which they release their much hyped debut ‘The Fallout.’
Sure their brand of post-hardcore/metal boasts plenty of bells and whistles, string sections, whirling stuttered electronica, a decent mix of clean and dirty vocals, but you have heard it all before. The one difference, if it is actually a difference, is the band’s obsession with the operatic. There is certainly a grandiose theme present here which seems like the group are trying really hard to make this debut explode and in some ways they have achieved that.
The production is spot on and the song structures are varied enough to keep you guessing a little. The unique elements poke their heads out every now and then but then quickly run back into the safe zone, such as ‘Memories Of A Broken Heart,’ which starts out with an eerie spaciousness but lacks memorable enough melody lines despite its soaring chorus lines and space.
The use of strings, whilst now a fairly regular occurrence in this genre, is tasteful, and more to set the theatrical mood. ‘Menace‘ is a good example of this, opening with an intense and hurried string line that explodes into some brutal screaming and thick guitars only to mellow out a little and intertwine with the strings again.
The closing track, and possible highlight due to its quirky circus like nature that is completely unexpected, is ‘Johnny’s Revenge‘, a random selection of parts smushed into a song that include fast paced punk breaks, spooky carnival keys and blistering clean vocals with bold guitars. It isn’t until the end of the record that the veil is pulled right back and we see what Crown The Empire can do.
Granted this is the band’s label debut so in some ways they want to play it safe and keep the "fans of the genre" happy, but this approach is tired and ineffective these days. There are enough moments of originality here to say that Crown The Empire are worth checking out, but they are countered by as many generic parts which make this album just short of something great.
1. Oh, Catastrophe
3. Memories Of A Broken Heart
4. Makeshift Chemistry
5. One You Feed
8. Two’s Too Many
10. Children of Love
11. Johnny’s Revenge