Hailing from Ontario, Empty Threat is the combined efforts of Michael Roane (vocals, guitar), Ryan Dobson (bass, backing vocals) and David Jameson (drums). They formed in 2011 and have now released a six-song EP entitled Heliophobia that can draw comparisons to bands like Our Lady Of Peace and Rise Against. The songs on Heliophobia aren’t barking up a new tree but instead rely on familiar themes and song structures that will give fans of the genre more material to indulge in. The band is technically proficient and if nothing else will impress with some of the moves they pull off on their songs (especially the drummer).
The songwriting is notable but there aren’t too many elements that made their songs stick out in a genre that is oversaturated with a copious amount of bands that sound almost identical. It’s not an easy task to do this but the fact is that if a band doesn't have that X-factor the chances of being a beloved rock star dwindles.
They kick off the album with “Intro” in which you hear someone walking up to the guitar, plugging it in, hitting a chord and letting feedback ring. It segues into “Poison,” which is a solid track with a slick bass line. The bass sounds like a slithering snake during the verse while the guitarist has a couple of inspired moments as well.
On “Mine” Roane sings about empty promises from ex-lovers. The lyrics are straightforward and simplistic as he sings, “ you promised, you told me you'd always be there and now I’m on my own. “Fire” was the highlight of the EP and contained the most engaging vocal melodies and lyrics. It also has a bit of an ‘80s hair metal vibe going which I appreciated. “Heliophobia” veers towards straight up punk/pop while the closer “Perception” was a formidable song that contained dreamy guitars, solid bass work and the most impressive drumming I heard on the EP.
Empty Threat is a case of wait and see. Heliophobia showcases potential but the songs here did little to establish a signature sound. The good news is that this is their first EP and time is on their side.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook