Brace yourself. With just five songs to prove their worth, Graham The Empire waste no time vying for your heart’s attention and before you know it, you’re a minute into their debut EP, Rise, and falling in love. Hailing from Indianapolis, the trio brings a refreshing sound to the alternative rock scene, with an album that has a little something for everyone.
“The Best of Me” kicks off this party and has a welcome, summer anthem feel to it. Imbuing that sensation of (having just) left the house and embarking on the first road trip of the summer. This is the song you crank up on the stereo as you drive the coast, windows down and your cares left behind.
The album quickly shifts gears into more experimental territory and brings a whole new level of fun. “Nasty” is more of an industrial rock ballad, that you can’t help but move along to. From there, “Don’t Let Go” and “Mask” slow things down, and exemplify GTE’s chops. The range of sound, just between these two songs is a delightful experience all its own.
The bookend to the EP, “Save Me” is a fun marrying of the styles we’ve seen from the boys thus far, and demands to be played loudly. Trust me on this, just turn it up and enjoy the build, and then lose your mind in the drop.
Graham The Empire proves with their debut that they can play, and they can play well. There is an eclectic mix of sounds and styles on this album that one could feel lost in. However, upon listening to the album as a whole, as a single piece of art, there is a purpose and a flow to it that stands as a statement on “genre,” and challenges what we’ve come to expect within those confines.
Rise reminds us that rock can be more than just one kind of sound.
GTE has really made something truly, alternative.
Rise is out now!