Slush Fund Records
By Eileen Tilson
There must be something in the water of Athens. It
draws musicians in like the Pied Piper, giving them the belief that maybe one
day Micheal Stipe or John Bell is going to walk into Tasty World on the night
you are playing and decided to take your band on the road. There is an invisible
fortress around the city that likes to proclaim from their towers that Athens is
a Music Mecca, and thus everything that comes from Athens has the Midas touch.
This was at least the case with longtime friends Ben Willis and Matt Knutson of
The Empties, when they decided to pack up their catchy lyrics and pop rock
tunes, and leave their hometown of Denver for the mysterious indie-Hollywood
known as Athens, Ga.
The Empties set up shop in 2005, following the
psyched out bubblegum rock path, that so many acts before them, like The Vines
and even Georgia-natives Gringo Star, have trotted down before. Their music is
not difficult, it is pop rock with a slight punk twist. Opening up the album
with a throwback sound resembling “Strawberry Fields,” “Oh my God” sucks you in
immediately with distorted vocals and toe-tapping rhythm. “Thanks a Lot” and
“Something’s Wrong” have enough pop-craft to land themselves on the college
radio charts. The Empties fuzzed-out guitars and sing-along lyrics make promise
though, of a show that will keep your head bobbing along.
Although you could probably close your eyes when
listening and not be able to decipher just exactly which band is playing, every
song on the 13-track self-titled album makes for a great mixtape add. They may
have a recycled sound, but then again The Empties are not trying to be the next
big thing. They have an ever-revolving door with their players, and seem to just
be interested in having a good time in a college town, a task they are
undoubtedly succeeding at.