Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Empire - Empire (1981)

I wish I could give you some real insight on this interesting German band, but their story is beyond murky.  There is such little information floating around that most of what I know pertains to before and after the proper Empire story.  The band was formed by ex-Cannabis India members Oliver Petry and Dirk Fleck.  Rounding out the lineup were Roland Lange, Bernd Kaspers and Fred Otto.  Empire were signed to a small fledgling label, Repertoire Records, long before that label would find success reissuing long lost obscurities on CD.  In 1981, the label released Empire's self-titled debut.  Shortly after, the band issued a single and slowly faded from sight.  It is presumed Empire ceased to exist by the mid-eighties.  Petry went on to be a noted session singer/keyboardist and launched a new career in web design which he continues to this day.  Fleck would later form Mama before working in production and sound engineering.  Kaspers would also go on to work in production throughout the eighties.  Otto made a name for himself as flashy metal drummer, Der Neitenpapst (aka Rivet Pope) in the band Random.  Lange's activities are unknown.

Empire's sole effort can't seem to decide whether it's hard rock, pop or pub rock.  I'm usually one for eclectic records, but this one lacks focus.  To top it off, Petry's thick accent and pitchy vocals make for a difficult listen at times.  There are some decent songs here.  "Fast Little Woman", "Watch Out" and "It's A Ball" are generally pretty well done.  All in all, the record is simply unremarkable.  Listen for yourself...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Robots for Ronni,

I am really surprised to read about our Empire Record from 1981 now in 2014. And if you want some

more (correct) information about the band, here it is:

The Band Empire was formed by Bernd Kaspers and me (Roland Lange). First studio recordings of

Empire are dated Dec. 1976. in 1980 Empire produced one single on their own, recorded in Dierks Studios, Stommeln, Germany. Later in 1980 we met Dirk Fleck and Fred Otto and decided to join forces and we recorded a Demotape in Wuppertal and Oliver Petry was asked to do some vocals on this demo and he did. Because of Dirk Flecks contacts to a couple of record companys in Hamburg, we had the chance for a few meetings in Hamburg, where we presented our Demo and us. To make a long story short, this all ended up in recording the record in Delta Studios in Wilster (near of Hamburg), by the way, the same studio, where Accept recorded their first (and second ? not sure) record.

Best Regards
Roland Lange