Another Man's Treasure EP Review Posted August 27, 2020 By RyanAdams_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need To Know: I Am Empire is a fan favorite on the Tooth and Nail Records roster. Their debut album with the record label, Kings, was well-received when released in 2011. It peaked at number 35 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart and number 40 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart. Some of the album's post-hardcore anthems include "Saints and Sinners," You're A Fake," and "Brain Damage." Anchors, the follow-up album, was released in 2013. This song collection I enjoy more: it has a more polished and mature sound. After Anchors, the band went quiet. Fast forward seven years and the band is back and excited to share new music.Another Man's Treasure, a five-song EP, has three original tracks and two acoustic covers.
What It Sounds Like Any fan of post-hardcore or alternative rock music will love these few songs from I Am Empire. "On A Rainy Sunday," the EP opener, is a soft love song driven by melodic piano and beautiful vocals. "Clever Nightmare" gives I Am Empire fans exactly what they love: a dynamic, catchy song with sweet gang vocal spots. "Airwaves" is a high energy song; it's less experimental, and more straight forward. Another Man's Treasure closes with two acoustic covers: "Foxhole" and "You're A Fake." Both songs are cleverly arranged to keep the emotion and passion flowing, without compromising the style of the originals.
Spiritual Highlights "On A Rainy Sunday" is a heart-warming love song. The passion of this kind of love, though romantic in this case, is what we all ought to have for another. "Clever Nightmare" is about internal struggles and the battles we face in everyday life. The song encourages us to rise to the occassion. "Airwaves" is an imaginative song—more so than the others—that offers a futuristic perspective to learn from, to avoid a worse future. Lead singer Austin Lyons shared some great personal thoughts on the three new songs.
"On a Rainy Sunday": 'This song might be one of my favorite I Am Empire songs because it's very personal to me. I wrote this song when I was engaged to my wife and touring nine months out of the year. Thinking back on our relationship, all the ups and downs we've faced together while looking forward to a marriage with her. We are high school sweethearts. Dated for seven years and now married for eight. My wife walked down the aisle to this song so it's awesome to finally release this to the world.'
"Clever Nightmare": 'This song is about how our personal sin or the darkness of this world tricks us into thinking it's good. It's a clever nightmare we face and have to address. This song is an encouragement to acknowledge it and then fight it. Actively reaching for the light instead of being tricked by the dark.'
"Airwaves": 'This song was an attempt at creating a fictional dystopian story of what could be in the future. I was reading 1984 when I wrote these lyrics.'
Best Song Of the three new songs, "Clever Nightmare" is the best. Austin's soulful vocals shine throughout the song. From the catchy "Danger, Danger!" opening line on the verses and the "Whoa-Whoa"s, the song gives plenty of elements that they know fans will love. There is also a fantastic guitar solo by former Disciple member Andrew Stanton that adds a perfect touch of empowerment to the already encouraging lyrics. Both acoustic songs are wonderful additions to the EP.
Bottom Line Just because a band does not release their "B-sides," it does not mean there are not some great songs. Another Man's Treasure is an example of songs that at one point may have been rejected, but now will be lovingly embraced by fans. I loved getting to hear acoustic renditions of "Foxhole" and "You're A Fake." Since the band has decided to share music after being quiet for so long, I hope this is not a one-and-done situation.