Rory Indiana – Empiricism review

RISeptember 26th sees Brighton quartet Rory Indiana release their debut EP, along with hosting a launch party at The Haunt, in their hometown. The four track record was created earlier this year, with the help of producer Nick Tauber (Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy), and branching out on a stem of the broad term “alt-rock”. Below, you can check out their music video for the final track of the EP, released last June.

Speaking technically, there are four tracks on this release, though it’s hard to understand why forty-nine second Αρχή, which is Greek for ‘beginning’, or ‘commencement’, is created as a separate track, instead of forming a lengthy intro to Sirens. The use of the Greek title infers there’s a very deliberate reasoning behind this choice, but to the average listener it simply appears as a slightly synthed, short rock instrumental.

Thanks to the confusing opening, it only really feels like the EP opens when the vocals cut into Sirens, as the instrumental, which started off as striking, has lost its novelty soon enough, and pales in comparison to the captivating vocal work. Abrupt, choppy and shocking, the sharp edge that founding member Rory Indiana-Kaye’s vocals add governs the tracks away from the over-used genre of “alt-rock”. Although the music responds lightly to the vocal lead, it lacks the same dexterity, forming a shocking contrast between the two.

The title track of the record comes third, with the same distinctive vocal works that hints on a taunting, nursery-rhyme, sing-song style in the opening verse, before wavering over the chorus and the instrumental takes the lead for the climax of the song. Despite their best attempts, this track falls into the cliche pit with a breakdown that highlights the fragility of the vocals and what seems to be a lack in confidence that they should have to resort to such a format. Sanctuary (below) holds a simplistic but more appealing opening, purely for the more sincere side to the sound, before raggedly building up to a rockier finale, closing the EP at just under eleven minutes.

It’s not a drastically complex or unique record, but the little variation it adds to the typical “alt-rock” genre is interesting – well worth a listen.

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