The Rock City archives: 2015

Max Raptor + Emp!re, Rock City Basement

  • Friday 26th June 2015

Max Raptor:

The anthemic candour of Midlands four-piece Max Raptor fuses classic British punk attitude with an astute sensibility to a ballsy riff, forthright narrative and infectious hook-fuelled chant. Having spent the last year touring, playing live and writing and recording debut material, building up a head of steam, a reputation for raucous and energetic live shows and a fan base in the process, Max Raptor are to release their debut mini-album 'Portraits' through Naim Edge Records.

Max Raptor’s debut release 'Portraits', is exactly that: micro-sketches of society, framing scraps of the world around them, painting with ambition, arrogance, anger, disillusion, greed, joy, futility, violence and pride. Portraits is rammed full of short, sharp and snappy portrayals of modern existence. The King Is Dead, Beasts, Carolina and The Alarm chronicle a plethora of dysfunctions with a colour of inevitability, whilst Obey The Whips underscores the decline of our ‘empire’ with a wry nationalist cry. The unruly mob vocals of Patron Saint (Of Nothing) depict our embarrassing obsession with celebrity culture, the narcissism that it breeds in our youth and the decay it creates when we forget to live our real lives. The convulsive Ghosts is a sobering realisation that (surely) everyone has at least once in their life; ‘I am worthless’, whilst the infectious anthemia of The Great And The Good reduces totalitarian rhetoric to a clichéd moshpit mantra.

Having cut their carnivorous teeth on the live circuit with the likes of Billy Talent, Blood Red Shoes, Oceansize and Ash, Max Raptor supporting heroes The Stranglers on tour in 2010 was like a dream come true. Following on from main-support slot on the Red Bull Stage of Download Festival last year, the band return in 2011 after relentless touring to celebrate the eagerly awaited release of their Dan Weller produced (the Sikth icon who's credits include Enter Shikari and Gallows) debut recording.


EMP!RE are a five piece rock band from the South West of England, formed in early 2012. After putting out a low key self released EP, 'Birth' in late 2012 to give early and eager fans a taste of things to come, some great reviews followed from the likes of Rhythm magazine “EMP!RE have found an incredible chemistry... the sound of a band that has quickly become a well oiled tune spewing machine.”, Total Guitar and Afro Punk, where EP track ‘All The Rage’ was rated as one of their Top 10 best songs of 2012.

Determined to raise the bar, EMPIRE recorded their debut Mini Album 'Where the World Begins in 2013 with Chris Coulter (Arcane Roots, Trails, A Plastic Rose) and released to critical acclaim in October 2013. This album captures the sound of a band finding their collective voices, working together to create a strikingly anthemic sound. Vitriolic and exciting in equal measure, the hooks stick like glue.

Following the arrival of the mini album 'Where the World Begins', EMP!RE have released two singles, 'Black Hearts' and 'Future, Past and Present’. The latter resulting in being in the Scuzz most wanted chart, whilst receiving extensive airplay on radio, including being Band of the week on TeamRock Radio.

'The best new voice in Rock' - Kerrang!
‘Forget Genres: EMPIRE are weird enough to appeal to everyone’ Metal Hammer
‘It’s easy to see why this lot is causing such a buzz' Big Cheese
‘You’ll be hard pressed to find a better vocal performance on record this year’Rock Sound
‘Sharp riffs, anthemic fist raisers, and of course, the virtuosic vocals’ Afro Punk

Since then, EMP!RE have moved from strength to strength, including tours/shows with Arcane Roots, Max Raptor and Skindred and festival performances at 2000 Trees and Harbourfest. Recently, the band embarked on their very own headline run to some choice cities, including a packed out London Garage Show in February 2014. More tours and a summer of festivals are to follow in what promises to be a very good year for EMP!RE.