Burning Empires

Andy Hurley is best known to shrill-screaming tweens and pop-punk fans as drummer for pop-radio darlings Fall Out Boy, but hardcore nerds are more than willing to lecture you on his somewhat edgier past. Hurley's back catalog alone comprises a multitude of mosh-tastic metalcore acts who never really made it outside of the most seriously drawn vegan and straight-edge circles–among them: Arma Angelus, Racetraitor and Killtheslavemaster. 

Hurley now lives in a house known as Fuck City in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a handful of dudes from the Midwest's most devoted collection of Shai Hulud fans, Misery Signals. In turn, a few of those guys (Stuart Ross, Ryan Morgan and Kyle Johnson), along with Matt Mixon, the former frontman of beloved and defunct metalcore unit 7 Angels 7 Plagues, play in Burning Empires, one of Hurley's newest projects, and it's his heaviest in quite some time. 

Though this self-titled debut 7-inch only offers two quick ragers, it's fairly easy to get a sense of Burning Empires' sound in the five-and-a-half minutes available: It's sprightly, slightly metallic, hard-charging hardcore with a smattering of those dizzying, mathy guitars that will be familiar to Misery Signals fans. It's not overpowering or incredibly original, and frontman Ryan Morgan's voice isn't always disarming, but for the most part, they sound pretty unique. Granted, the vocal melody 90 seconds into "Disavowal" sounds exactly like Killing The Dream, and Rise Against diehards will think ex-guitarist Chris Chasse is practically guesting on the same song, but this short, intense 7-inch–which apparently rails against the government's legal actions against animal and environmental rights activists–is never consistently similar to any one band. Not a bad start.

Fuck City http://www.fc666.com/

Heart First Into Hell