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Eternal Combustion

Empire State

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Album Review

For all its eclecticism — employing homemade instruments and electronic samples, and exploring such diverse territories as instrumental soundtrack-inspired music and straight-up indie pop — Empire State's sophomore album, Eternal Combustion, is a cohesive statement, seamlessly blending its disparate elements. In fact, the distinctions between electronic and real instruments get so blurred over the course of the album that it's often hard to tell them apart. Likewise, the band sounds equally at home with the classic guitar-driven indie rock featured on such tracks as "Bleeps and Blips" (ironically, the least electronically enhanced song on the album) as they do exploring the dark, smoky ambience of "Walkie Talkie," or the high speed Devo-isms of "Don't Disturb Us." The vocal harmonies of brothers Jay and Tim Nackashi are in fine form as well, taking it up a notch from their debut, but still steering clear of the bright, sunny sound of Elephant 6 bands. Ultimately, while it's far from inaccessible upon first listen, Eternal Combustion is an album that only reveals its best features over time: catchy enough for the car, but multi-layered enough for headphones.

Biography

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The eclectic electronic/post-rock group Empire State consists of brothers Jay and Tim Nackashi (also of Beekeeper) and Alex McManus, who also performs with Vic Chesnutt and Lambchop. Their self-titled debut album, which was released in early 2001, introduced their...
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Eternal Combustion, Empire State
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