Perth trio Emperors have released their second, yet sadly final album Chupacabra. Despite their critical acclaim and undeniable talent the band are moving on, and thankfully Chupacabra is a worthy send off.
Emerging in 2010 and after a few adjustments the line-up settled around members Adam Livingston (vocals, guitars), Greg Sanders (guitars) and Zoe Worrall-James (guitars, backing vocals). Success quickly followed Emperors after the release of first EP Favourite Colors with the band landing a gig at the Perth leg of the Big Day Out and later scooping up the 2010 WAMi award for Most Promising New Act.
Perth’s Emperors are calling it quits, but not before releasing Chupacabra. Catchy guitar music and introspective lyrics is a great way to farewell the band.
Following their debut release Stay Frosty in 2012 Chupacabra was recorded at Perth’s Blackbird Studios with local pop luminary Dave Parkin (Jebediah, Gyroscope), a long term friend and producer of the band’s previous releases. The nine month recording period was marked by the band’s internal turmoil. After frontman Adam’s statement that he would not be supporting the album by touring or playing live the band confirmed that they would be breaking up following the release of Chupacabra.
Replete with all the hooks, riffs and distortion Emperors can offer Chupacabra continues in tradition of the simple, catchy and 90s flavoured music that has characterised the band throughout their career. Fortunately the Perth locals will not be leaving fans empty handed, dishing out ten new tracks, which showcase the band’s deftness at blending of 90s flavoured power pop, indie and grunge influences into catchy tunes. On the surface the internal turmoil of the band appears to have had little bearing on the band’s uplifting pop rock sound, however, beneath the upbeat veneer is an undercurrent of melancholy and recurring themes of entrapment.
Chupacabra opens with the idiomatic Seeing Ghosts. A Hawaiian inspired acoustic introduction lulls the listener into sedation before blasting them with bombastic guitar licks and drums. Shooting From the Bell Tower is the heart of the LP. A Weezer-esque noughties anthem, Adam’s lyric draws upon imagery of Perth’s infamous drug crime history and the Charles Whiteman massacre to express a love/hate relationship with the band’s hometown.
Automatic Sigh responds to this downward beat with a hard hitting and epic alt-rock track, capturing perfectly the layered, stadium sound of bands such as the Foo Fighters. Green Head follows Shooting From The Belltower’s suit narrating the isolation and hopelessness of life in a rural community. Somebody Else’s Dream is a poetic coda to the band’s existence.
Melancholy guitar work underscores the lyrical comment on the duality of fame and success, but ultimately ending on the notion that the best way to address the matter is to get wasted and then get sober. Catchy, yet bittersweet Chupacabra is worthy conclusion to Emperors work.
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