It's amazing to have such a big release so early on in the year, but for us at Release it is always nice to have something to get our collective teeth into. This album is being hyped as Empire's “Berlin” album – a return to the roots of the artist and his musical vision, which started off with Atari Teenage Riot all that time ago.

Hence, this album is slightly different to the offerings of recent years – true it still has the power, still retains most of the darkness – yet it takes most of its structure from the dance, and not the rock music scenes. It has more than a hint of down'n'dirty electro, and works as a bold statement of intent, being the flagship release on the fledgling Eat Your Heart Out Records – a concept that is set to include not just the label itself, but promotion, booking agency and new talent developer. It seems Empire is ready to be a father to the next generation of music with attitude.

Onto the tracks then. “ICE (as if she could steal a piece of my glamour)” is the moment you can really feel that the change is happening, the previous two tracks hinting at a step forward without breaking away from recent familiarity; “New Man” being very like Alec Empire doing a Gary Numan double-take on the opener. “ICE.....” is bold, brash and instantly likable; as steps forward go, this is a bold one indeed. “1000 Eyes” lets the side down badly though, it seems completely out of place, is very lethargic, and seems to have borrowed its effects from “The War of the Worlds” soundtrack album – ever so slightly depressing. The same is unfortunately true for the closer “No/Why/New York”, though not quite to the same extent.

“Robot L.O.V.E.” is an intriguing beast though. The delivery is very laidback, even for Empire, and the rhythm heavy, in the meanwhile also being poppily acidic – the vocals being vaguely reminiscent of Mark E. Smith (of The Fall fame) in some places, and very, very listenable for of it. I had to play said track again as soon as it had finished, which doesn't happen that often to me any more, believe me!

So some of it works, some of it doesn't – but there is no denying that when this album does hit into the groove, there are very few people indeed who can match Mr. Empire for ideas and sheer attitude. Alec Empire has gone dancey again, and at least one person (me), is all the happier for it – keep up the good work and look forward to the tour that will spread these tracks all over Europe this Spring.