Audic Empire of Austin, Texas takes no names. Instead, this reggae rock band open fires on all topics in their latest Head Change album, now available on all streaming outlets via Reggae 360 and Blue Avenue Music Group. Matching the music’s metal-infused demeanor is the album’s producer Howi Spangler, frontman of similar zero-fucks-given reggae rock band Ballyhoo!.
Audic Empire truly means business with this third studio installment.
Spanning a short eight tracks, Head Change will keep you engaged from start to finish. The opening track is actually the previously-released lead single “Come and Toke It”, featuring Brandon Hardesty (of Bumpin Uglies). A contrast between a muted, flat intro and the heavy beat drop instantly captures the attention of listeners, unmistakably insinuating that this is a call-to-action anthem. What’s the cause, you ask? Well, the well-known, almost-played-out fight to legalize marijuana. Why is this still relevant, you ask? In the band’s own words, getting caught with weed in a “wrong state” can still land you an unwarranted conviction, while there are “too many people on this earth today rotting in jail cause of Mary Jane.” The fight continues, lest we forget. Damn those Red States hanging on for dear life…
The second track on the album “.45” centers around a femme fatale type, with the unpredictable impulsiveness of a handgun — you never know when her “promiscuous decisions” will get her trigger happy. LAW Records artist Vana Liya joins in track three “Don’t Wait Up”, a “bittersweet” love song about coming to terms with obvious chemistry. “On The Loose” is another celebratory weed song, this time embracing the party lifestyle embedded in herb mixed with reggae music. The talents of Dread Kennedy adds a ‘roots’ feel to the bridge section, too. Probably the most unique song on the LP is “Coffee & Bongs”, a Sublime-esque ode to sexual arousal. To be honest, it’s almost a sequel to the Sublime song “Burritos”, yet instead of yearning to do nothing all day long, Audic Empire lead singer Ronnie Bowen proclaims “all I wanna do is make some love to you” over bluesy, country instrumentals.
And, every guitar solo on the album is impressive as all hell.
If that wasn’t sexy enough, more “afternoon delights” and smooth saxophone are outlined in “Must’ve Done Something Right”. A lot of Audic Empire tracks ebb and flow between downtempo jazzy elements and fast, heavy metal shredding, and this song is of no exception. Constantly switching up the tempo is pretty brilliant of Audic Empire, considering their songs are about weed and relationships… two entities that annihilate any sense of keeping true time. The album concludes with “King from Under” — a surf rock vibe meets folklore subject matter — and with “All My Fault”, another hip hop-infused unapologetic track.
Head Change exhibits the band’s growth over the past decade, carving out their unique expression and sound. Don’t believe us? Stream it yourself! For more on Audic Empire, visit the links below.
Purchase or stream ‘Head Change’ album:
- Come and Toke It, feat. Bumpin Uglies
- Don’t Wait Up, feat. Vana Liya
- On The Loose, feat. Dread Kennedy
- Coffee & Bongs
- Must’ve Done Something Right
- King from Under
- All My Fault
Audic Empire “.45” official music video:
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.