CD Review – Empty Orchestra “One More Time All Together Now”
The town of Flint, Michigan is statistically one of the most violent in America. With a crime rate so high, it sits at #1 on the FBI’s list of Most Violent Towns In America. Despite the staggering crime rate and the fact that the town has the highest rate of arson fires per capita, Flint, Michigan plays backdrop to an independent music scene which is curiously upbeat. Enter Empty Orchestra and their latest LP, One More Time All Together Now.
The band introduces us to the album on an unfalteringly high note, with the track, “Broken Record”. A catchy, Springsteen-worthy riff is soon followed by the group vocals; “we believe we are something better together than apart,” and what follows on One More Time All Together Now is an upbeat, animated journey through modern Americana as told by Empty Orchestra.
The album consists of twelve impeccably crafted tracks that weave their way through the warmness of folk, much like the ballad “No Such Place”, and back again to the heaviness of rock, as heard early on in “The Ballad of Bulls Run” and again on “The Audience.” Track “Lo and Behold” rocks a little harder than others and is the culmination of the bands sound. With a perfectly urgent piano riff that seems to sway effortlessly, it could essentially be the backing track for a 1950’s car scene in the vain of Rebel Without A Cause. It’s this track that cements the vision for the album and where things all come together. Think an early Tom Petty meets The Gaslight Anthem.
It’s the subtle and more notable country undertone on One More Time All Together Now that so perfectly ties things together. Lead singer Stephen Wisniecki’s all-American vocals backed by hints of dueling banjos adds rustic sincerity to Empty Orchestra’s songwriting, separating them from many of their industry counterparts.
Much like the title would suggest, the band confess that the album was written and loosely based on an idea that “we all matter to one another.” Even in the albums more sinister moments, like the strangely upbeat melody behind the darkly titled track, “We Have Ways of Making You Talk”, the album carries a sense of optimism and playfulness.
One More Time All Together Now leaves you thinking that maybe, just maybe, things aren’t so bad in Flint, Michigan, the most violent city in America, as we might imagine them to be.
One More Time All Together Now is available for purchase on the Pentimento Music Co online store.