I found more satisfying the exuberant shout-pop of the young band Empires, which harks back to the soul-on-sleeve pyrotechnics and coruscating melodic lines of Pearl Jam. Their new five-song EP crashes in with the one-two punch of the arena-style "Damn Things Over" and the frenetic title track. It's centered by the shimmering power ballad "Strangers," then moves on to the insistent wall of sound of the somewhat unfocused "Intruder," which adds clarion-strong ooh's to a heavy alt-rock bed of guitars and then does an old-fashioned fadeout. The mid-tempo closer, "I Know You Know," plods despite its sonic density; it's the only track that doesn't have something about it that works well for me; instead of "let's craft a song" it feels more like "let's bang out 'our sound' for three minutes and 40 seconds. But overall, I found this quite an enjoyable mini-release.