Audio Empire: Audio Empire
By Jacob Connor
It's the grunge era again and Audio Empire start promisingly with (Welcome to) The Great Escape, full of flailing drums, spitfire riffs and a throaty vocal bordering on the epic. However they falter with the next step, a banal modern rock ballad Fall to Pieces, which, like the eponymous title (a contraction of Audioslave and 'Evil Empire'?), feels somewhat second-hand. There's a strain of hard rock devoid of any danger or intrigue that saturates the airwaves best represented by Nickleback, Hinder and Creed. Audio Empire fit with this company. The others are enormously popular of course, so Audio Empire may well garner a delirious fanbase. As a musical force, the group has plenty of cut and thrust, and the players mesh together well, their machine-like rhythms evoking Tool at times, however, the songwriting has a way to go to match the ambitions of the soundscape. The fact sheet boasts support from NZ On Air and The Rock, so AE stand a good chance of finding their audience.