Genre: electronic synth-poppy bullshit with sick hip hop beats and dubstep influences
Released: April 18th 2011
Radio Wire Empire is some dude in michigan making electronic music for shits and giggles or something. altogether, he has put out several releases out of his bandcamp, most prominently his full length album Threadbare, in which he demonstrated both his ability to create lush, diverse sonic soundscapes with complex melodies, and then sing over them like a little girl(im not sure how he does this, he has a pretty dope beard and stuff).
At 30 minutes, this is a pretty long EP, but that’s a good thing, because this is some of the best synth pop i’ve heard since i’ve been comfortable with my sexuality. The soundscapes are there, but they’re toned down a bit. I wouldnt say sparse, (they’re pretty full of sounds) but definitely not as effects heavy(deceptively not effects heavy).
First off I’m gonna mention the drums and the synth basslines and how groundshakingly good they are. He could have made this whole album with just those and I still could have gotten down like a motherfucker. The drum sounds are intentionally fake in the best way possible(the liner notes on the download site says he borrowed a drum machine, GOOD FUCKING MOVE). These beats have a hip hop swagger with white boy charm only a white boy from michigan can have, and are more delicious than any other metaphors I could come up with. The basslines are simple but have a computerized warmth and fullness of sound that just fills out the low end really hard. This is a good thing.
His tones and arrangements are well thought out and mixed to buttfucking perfection. Sometimes I felt like I was listening to an orchestra of synthesizers while dropping acid, but upon closer inspection, there was nothing more than a synth bass, a drumbeat, and a whimsical lead over the top while I was dropping acid(it’s worth it, trust me). As far as song structure, there’s not really any standard pop chorus verse chorus type deals going on here, just several verses, each one as catchy as any chorus an inferior musician could make. Though I was halucinating maybe so there might be stuff in there I missed.
The real beauty of this EP is the melodies. RWE shows his enviable ear for complexly catchy melodies obscured in plain sight. For example, on Corpus of Qoholeth, what was assumed to just be a pretty, cute arpeggio in the intro expands itself flawlessly later on in the song into a fully formed simplistic melody whose beauty is maybe comparable to like a great work of art or something(it’s about maybe 5am, I’m running out of metaphors).
I would have to say that one of the only downsides to this album are the singer’s flashy-girly voice that seems to have either an orgasm or an emotional breakdown every couple words. Ironically, the most powerful and moving vocal passages are the ones he sings with no flair, just straight falsetto. His vocal arrangements are interesting though, he’lll go as far as having several overdubs singing at different octaves with different amounts of flash, and it makes for an interesting sound to say the least. also autotune? When was that ever a good idea?
Lyrically, it’s pretty standard lovey dovey shit(im not too big on lyrics tbh, not unless they really strike me) I havent taken the time to analyze them fully but I heard some verses mentioning “mounting pressure on our hips” and “tomorrow wont be so bad” but if that gives you pause, please remember that this is a fucking synth pop album. One of the songs is called “young and naked” if you didnt take the hint now, you’ll never get it, like ever.
Overall this is a well put together set of songs that flow surprisingly well, and while it lacks the cool factor of the punkrawk music and the hippity hop, it’s definitely enjoyable as fuck to listen to.
Definitely a guilty pleasure if you care that people will think you’re gay/emo
Pros: Delicious Beats, Delicious bass, Delicious melody
Cons: Icky vocal flashiness(blargh), Pretentious song titles
Best track: The Insistence of Dawn or the Battle of Backs and their Beast
Coincedentally the most pretentiously named track is my favorite. It’s a perfect combo of simple bass, delay soaking synth blurbs, and probably my favorite vocal work on the album
Worst track: Young and Naked
It’s not bad, I’m just so used to hearing some delicious melody or hook by now, but nothing stands out for me atm. Just a solid track
Grower: Corpus of Qoholeth. That is just a fucking PERFECT melody, I didn’t even notice it the first time around
Surprise! Brostep in your face!: Amaranthine wall