Emperors – Stay Frosty
90’s alternative rock is welcomed back with open arms, in the form of Perth rockers, the Emperors.
Signatures of the genre including driving riffs, lead and rhythm guitar, ballsy male vocals and huge choruses are what Perth rockers the band’s first album Stay Frosty is all about.
The group, featuring Adam Livingstone, Greg Sanders, Zoe Worrall-James and Dane Knowles, shares a guitar-laden line up. This influence is present in all tracks on Stay Frosty and is definitely a defining feature of their songs. Dave Parkin of Jebediah affirms the group as one to watch through his involvement in producing Emperor’s album.
Stay Frosty officially dropped on April 20 through Gun Fever/MGM, but you have probably heard a few of their tracks before, in particular lead “Ready When I Say Go” or “Plastic Guns.”
“Ready When I Say Go” opens the album in fine style. A slow moving, steady rocking piece featuring gritty vocals, distorted and thumping guitar riffs and uplifting vocal harmonies; the track hooks listeners in and demands more. This, contrasted with a lilting lead guitar riff, makes for easy listening until the chorus hits – and makes you want to jump around, hair swinging a la Kurt Cobain.
“Plastic Guns” starts off with a quite sparse sound, featuring stand out female vocals courtesy of femme face of the group Zoe Worrall-James. Again, the big chorus that Emperors favour hits and brings along with it distorted, souring guitar riffs and heavier lead vocals, adding depth and interest for listeners. The lead guitar features in the bridge, with a solo mimicking the vocal’s melody.
A personal favourite track on Stay Frosty is “Tired Of Winning.” A strong contrast between sparse and dense sounds, gritty and soft vocals and the addition of an echo-style harmony vocal by Worrall-James again really adds interest for the listener. This track in particular reminds of a classic 90s alternative rock hit.
This steady, 90’s-style rocker pieces are a staple throughout the album, reminiscent of Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and even a hint of Aussie wonders Something For Kate. It does tend to get a little repetitive, with some tracks bleeding into one another due to their similar sound.
However it is undeniable that Emperors are bringing back a much-loved sound that has been somewhat abandoned amongst all that synth, bass and electronic extras. It’s also clear that this sound is something the Emperors do extremely well, and hey – if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Overall Stay Frosty is an enjoyable album, perfect for a Sunday drive, chilled out afternoon in the backyard sunshine or even a good gym. Their sound may be a little same-same, but the possibilities are endless.
by Jemima Lewis