Enlarge Photo by Gavin Smart

Empire State Bastard Switch Gears Entirely with “The Looming”


Okay, color me completely fucking confused now. For the entire time leading up to the September 1 release of Empire State Bastard‘s debut album Rivers of Heresy, the company line has been that they’re a grindcore band from the minds of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and Mike Vennart. Yet this latest single is anything but — and it’s still pretty damn good.

Released moments ago, “The Looming” is more doomy, stoner shoegaze weirdness than it is offensive face ripping aggression. Especially when it follows up their previous two singles, “Harvest” and “Stutter.” Are there some stoner-ish elements in those tracks? Sure. But not this much.

I mean, I guess as an album closer it works, but I think I’ve got whiplash now from the tonal shift this band just underwent. That’s not to say it’s bad at all, I dig slow and fuzzy sounds in my music, but wow.

Featuring Neil and Vennart as the masterminds, Empire State Bastard also features bassist Naomi Macleod (Bitch Falcon) and Dave Lombardo on drums. As highlighted in their now three different singles, this band is something wild and more than just a grindcore band.

Ultimately, this makes me a bit more excited to check this album out when it drops on September 1. I may even want to make the trek up to New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge on September 20 to catch their show with Chat Pile, which should be just absolute chaos. You can pre-save or pre-order the album, as well as get your tickets to the NYC show, right now.

Empire State Bastard, Rivers of Heresy tracklist:
1. Harvest
2. Blusher
3. Moi?
4. Tired, Aye?
5. Sons and Daughters
6. Stutter
7. Palms of Hands
8. Dusty
9. Sold!
10. The Looming

Empire State Bastard Unveil Their Debut Album Rivers of Heresy, Due Out Sept. 1
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