Album Review: Emperors - Stay Frosty

28 June 2012 | 12:10 pm | Tom Birts balls-out as the throbbing drums, unyielding guitars and male/female vocals...

If, like me, you got chills the first time you heard Billy Corgan's urgent guitar chop through the drum intro to Cherub Rock, grab your parka. From the opening chords of new single Be Ready When I Say Go, Emperors' debut Stay Frosty stakes a claim for album of the winter.

After their 2010 WAMi award for Most Promising New Act, an appearance at Big Day Out and rotation on triple j, the cocksure power pop of lead single Plastic Guns was a shot across the bows of the music scene from the Perth four-piece. The influences on this, and all over the album, are as balls-out as the throbbing drums, unyielding guitars and male/female vocals that distinguish them. Smashing Pumpkins, pre-Polythene Feeder and Sonic Youth raise their heads, and there is more than a shade of Northern Irish boy (and later, girl) wonders Ash in the exuberance and lyrical content throughout. There will be the inevitable comparisons between Rebecca and Girl From Mars, but the girls they're chasing aren't from outer space – they ride the bus, read Murakami and Pitchfork and play Nintendo. They probably drink imported Pabst Blue Ribbon.

The ebullient and self-assured debut album from Emperors hits a sweet spot somewhere between the shoegazing alt.rock of the mid '90s and today's impudent indie 'artistes'. In unashamedly nailing their musical inspirations to the mast, Emperors are boldly going where bands have gone before – but don't think of this as the ghost of indie past. Stay Frosty is melodic fuzz pop of the first order. Splendid stuff.