As another Star Wars movie release is upon us, I would like to offer up Galactic Empire to your music rotation today. As you’re standing in line waiting for Solo tickets and you need a boost, the John Williams shredders should lift your spirits and reduce your anxiety. The YouTube cover band sensations are more than just a couple of dudes who plucked away until they had “Imperial March” nailed. These guys are legitimate talents in their own right, and everyone should take a listen just to hear it.

What impresses me most about the band is their dedication to replication. Any dummy with a six-string can noodle away until they hit just those right melodic notes. The guitarists, Dark Vader, Kyle Ren, and Red Guard, take the time to really layer the melodies. Instead of just simple power chords with a soaring melody over it, these three are actually reproducing the orchestration of the soundtrack. The trio is rounded out by bassist Bass Commander and drummer Boba Sett who really help print the songs in your memory.

Despite having a fairly narrow musical focus, the band is just dripping with over-the-top metal shredding cheese. You can hear it in everything they do. Vader’s leads just drip with that really tight distortion reminiscent of shredders like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. Ren and Guard keep fairly layered melodic rhythms below him with the same tone and vigor. Boba Sett’s drumming really steals the show. Somehow he’s able to draw your attention to the complex rhythms he creates without completely stealing the show. It’s truly a wonder to appreciate.

As a pretty big Star Wars nerd in my own right, I can’t help but love stuff like this. Sure, it’s cheesy. Maybe it’s not the most amazing thing you’ve ever heard. But putting this fresh spin on some of the most recognizable music in cinema history can maybe help those who don’t know about IG-88 to change their mind faster than Han’s trip through the Kessel Run. If you like Star Wars, you’ll love Galactic Empire. Their second album just dropped. How have you not listened yet? I find your lack of faith disturbing.


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