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Chicago quintet Empires spent nearly a year crafting their debut record HOWL, which was written, engineered, produced, and released entirely by their own hand. This D.I.Y. approach allowed the band to be free from creative restraints and able to explore any sound they want, building an identity that was true to their own creative vision. The record was officially released for free via their website, racking up 70,000 downloads and catching the attention of many outlets including MTV.com, who said "The album is great, all ethereal and doomy like the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Black Angels, but with a little bit of My Chemical Romance snarl thrown in for good measure." Empires are currently in competition to become the first unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone.A
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