Cincinnati, Ohio continues to churn out the best in garage and psychedelic rock, and today we're excited to present an EP from the next promising act. Pop Empire are a "psych punk blues trio," and they're releasing a 4-song EP which we're premiering today. You can stream the EP below and read up about the record with words from the band.
I've been making music with other people and using the name Pop Empire since 2009, but this recording feels like a new beginning for the project. It is the first recording I've made with Ryan & Jake -- and Pop Empire's first release featuring a real live drummer. We're very proud of these songs we've written, and I think it's because these songs we're created through a collaborative process where we all brought something. Old-time Appalachian music was on my mind a lot when we were writing these songs, and all the songs are filled with musical and lyrical reflections of songs and books and images from our traditions and shared experiences. We play them in a style shaped by our common love of a steady heavy desert sound and by our local music culture.
We recorded these songs in our practice space in Northside, Cincinnati, Ohio, which we share with another band. The space is a concrete box in the basement of a big storage warehouse, and there's trash and cables everywhere, and the lighting is horrible, and the hallways stink, and actually they keep it uncomfortably warm all the time -- and we love it, because having this space of our own has meant so much to us individually and collectively.
The Violent Bear It Away speaks its nature through the synthesizer drones that serve as much of its foundation -- simple tone squeezed, pressed, saturated, driven seemingly to the point of breaking through the air that conveys it, breaking out of the notes that compose it.
We like Rock n Roll and that's the kind of music we make. But it's hard to say what that really means anymore. So there's always this: we take guidance from something entirely ambiguous and permeable while filling an empty vessel with meaning. And this while working to make songs that are both fun and resonant in some introspective way, that translate well both in the context of a rowdy and moving live show and also when you're alone and the weather is shitty and maybe you're feeling like everything is just bad. These are two indispensable qualities of rock n roll music: it's what you want for a good time and it's what you want for an awful time.