Crown The Empire
The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways
(Rise Records)

The Resistance is the third record from Crown the Empire in the past two years, so the band has kept respectively busy on the road in between tours. While their previous release, The Fallout, was a crazed explosion right out the gate,Rise of the Runaways is a bit more deliberate and elaborate in design. At first, some of the record feels too ambitious for the band to handle; but, after some time, the tracks do begin to shine more and more. Though this is a collection that becomes increasingly attractive the greater it is explored, Crown the Empire still have a way of grabbing your interest from the start. The opener, “A Call To Arms (Act I)”, sets up the concept well enough, and leads wonderfully into the single, “Initiation”. Though this particular track isn’t one of the better songs of the record, it does a great job in giving the listener an idea of what to expect (whether they’ve known CTE previously or not).

However, it’s in the second half of The Resistance that the album really begins to build steam (even though “Machines” is certainly an early highlight, and “MNSTR” is a dark burst of energy in the middle). You can mark the leap forward at “Second Thoughts”, which is fueled by its hauntingly smooth verses and grand chorus. From there, you also have the fantastically enjoyable “Maniacal Me”, the soothing and growing interlude of “Satellites (Act III)”, the angry and aggressive “Bloodline”, and the wonderfully odd and diverse “Johnny’s Rebellion”. It is definitely the second half of The Resistance that shines the brightest.

Rise of the Runaways is an album of fair size, and therefore offers plenty of content. Fans of the last two albums will find that Crown the Empire are gradually trying to expand upon their formula here, and it does work for the most part (though the band does still need a little more growth in their writing styles to better combine twisting elements). Personally, I think The Fallout may have been slightly more enjoyable, but The Resistance is also certainly a worthy release for its scene. Crown the Empire are most definitely talented musicians, and they could be onto something here. Maybe in an album or two, they’ll become unstoppable. We’ll just have to wait and see. (Nathaniel Lay)

Purchase The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways here: http://www.riserecordsstore.com/

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