Most likely,EmptyTowers will not sonically tear your head off or make you swear, truly and forevermore, by the way of pop punk. It will not blow your mind or have you shouting from the mountaintops that you’ve happened upon greatness. Rumspringer, after a spin or two, will most likely come across as a pretty good pop punk band, somewhere between, say, The Decay and labelmates Dead Mechanical. Nothing jaw-dropping, but most certainly passable. They’ve crafted some nice songs that weave between simple melodies and dense, challenging structures. If it all seems a little hookless, at least it also goes a bit beyond the verse-verse-chorus. Your first listen may be summarized as “good, but a fair hop short of truly memorable.” All that said, I’m also convinced that Empty Towers is gonna be a grower for a lot of people—that’s how it’s been for me. The full breadth and width of these songs will take repeated listens and some perseverance. There’s that just-right blend of raggedness and confidence that becomes more apparent (and pitch-fucking-perfect for this type of music) the more you listen to it. There’s great, introspective lyrics that toe the line between brevity and ambiguity—and require some patience to decipher. The songs themselves begin to stand out individually as time passes and run-throughs accrue. The album’s already grown on me quite a bit since that first “meh” listen, and by now I’m getting the feeling that I have indeed lucked into something pretty goddamn great.
–keith (Traffic Street)