Empire State Troopers
Gig Seeker Pro

Empire State Troopers

Band Rock Metal


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"J. Eric Smith"

Empire State Troopers
Upstate Again (One Cell Productions)

Empire State Troopers’ members have been delivering the rock from Brooklyn to Buffalo to Ballston Lake (their current home) since the early ‘90s with such critically respected bands as Small Axe, The Wasted, The Sixfifteens, Squid, Kate Mosstika and Glitter of Cohoes. EST’s new six-song EP, Upstate Again, finds the four formidable musical talents playing in perhaps their most visceral configuration yet, with Nathan Pallace on drums, Thom Hall on guitar, Jeff Fox on bass and Kelly Murphy front and center, armed only with her powerful contralto, a voice perfectly pitched for the smart, hard rock that EST deliver. The band’s grinding, gristle-chewing riff-work blends the classic churn of ‘90s indie darlings The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid with the primal punch of such underground metal acts as Budgie, Iron Maiden and Witchfinder General. Lest that sound too dense and intense for repeated plays, the Troopers leaven the proceedings with a better melodic sense than any of those bands ever mustered and a crisp sonic presentation courtesy engineer Jason Loewenstein (ex-Sebadoh, Fiery Furnaces). EP closer “Phantom Limb” is Upstate Again’s pinnacle, working both as a killer ensemble piece and as a showcase for the unique strengths that each band member brings to the table: the parts are masterful, the whole is positively titanic. This is what rock is supposed to sound like. Listen. - Albany Times Union

"Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh, Fiery Furnaces, Engineer of 'Upstate Again') -quote"

"They are one of relatively few bands that I know of who's recordings are proof that they are of an embarrassingly rare breed of great live bands. This immediately sets them apart from the current landscape of bands whose existence is built on piecemeal constructions of heavily edited, quantized drumtracks, samples and use of pitch correction. None of which was employed in the making on this great record. They are the real deal." - Metroland (Albany, NY Arts/News Weekly)

"Kirsten Ferguson"

…As likely, Grand Champeen just had a hard time following Empire State Troopers. OK, I’ll lay it out: The locally based Empire State Troopers blew the headliners away. Grand Champeen nearly admitted as much. “They’re the best band I’ve seen on tour so far,” acknowledged Livingstone near the close of Grand Champeen’s set. “They were intense,” added Lewis. Intense was right. Lead singer Kelly, who has a more unassuming role as bassist in local crank-rock band the Wasted, is a kick-ass front woman. (She must have a last name, but I’ve always heard her referred to as “Kelly from the Wasted.”). A five-piece with Buffalo connections, Empire State Troopers include Small Axe drummer Thom Hall on guitar and heavy-hitting Nathan Pallace on drums. They also had a bassist in Josh Homme sunglasses and a Turbonegro-T-shirt-clad guitarist who happens to be Kelly’s cousin. As the band churned out their heady blend of burned-out devil rock, Kelly—an arresting, animated singer with an in-your-face sort of charm—belted out tracks about devil-shooting and Adirondack white trash (“Jack Clutch”). Watch out: EST are easily the best new local band to form around here in ages. - Metroland (Albany, NY Arts/News Weekly) -Live Review

"Eric Smiarowski"

All the jizz metal and cookie-monster anger that the marines and teens are crooning to these days has really got to be the dumbest fucking music fad since what? Well, since the Menudo craze. "Today's Drive at Five brought to you by the fellas down at 'I-Won't-Tell-If-You-Don't Homoerotic Look-At-My-Tats-in-the-Men's-Room Tattoo Parlor and don't forget to drop by to see the girls at Cherry's Pretend-You're-Straight Gentlemen's Club; A club for the man who wants more than the tip."

Christ. I've been rocking out to Chet Baker lately because I can't stomach all that swill. Until now. Finally I've found a good old fashioned talented rock-and-roll band. Dirty rock. I mean slithering-on-the-bar-floor-after-hours kind of shit with sex appeal, sardonic lyrics, and all-around let's-throw-beer-bottles-at-that-tree-because-these-tunes-fucking-rock rock. Let's get twisted on acid, drink Jack Daniels, smoke a joint and get some more volume over here now because this shit is real. I'm talking about the Empire State Troopers.

Kelly Murphy's lyrics are a fevered search for a trap door in the root cellar of her heart. Digging in the pitch-black dirt of sordid relationships and leaving claw marks on the backs of her captors, she regales us with stories of inner personal battles on the wind of her golden pipes. Accompanied by Thom Hall driving riffs on guitar that, depending on where, can be construed as descending into or climbing out of crescendos. The railing to these ladder riffs —if there were such a thing—, acting as a safety device throughout the whole album, is Jeff Fox on bass. Nothing sly about his bass playing because this here bastard plays as subliminally as a kick in the teeth. And he has to in order to keep up with and tie together the heart pounding drums of Nathan Pallace. Wonderful really.

What more can I say? This band is so tight I'd swear they were illegal to look at. But they're not. The resume of each band member is enough to give lift to any upstart band. The fact that these four are playing together brings to the forefront the possibilities of professionalism among unsigned, under-the-radar bands. Their shit is together. The websites are all interconnected from www.empirestatetroopers.com to their MySpace page and further links. Reviews, CDs, T-shirts, and tour dates can be found here along with bios and booking information. And a pretty picture. Check 'em out. —ES

- Unlikelystories.org (online zine)

"Mute : Funeralopolis.com : Empire State Troopers - 'Upstate Again'"

Sometimes, the most wondrous things in life just happen to fall into your lap from out of nowhere. Such was the case recently when I was contacted by a member of Empire State Troopers — a fresh, red hot New York-based band inspired by the oldskool heavy metal and hard rock of the 70s.

Of course, this was just up my alley, and I certainly couldn’t resist checking them out, despite my innate skeptic naturally preparing itself for disappointment. At the time, after all, I had hit somewhat of a dry spell music-listening-wise and my cynical side was beginning to get the better of me; the chances of any musical recommendation “clicking” with me at that moment seemed quite slim.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I delved into the band’s website and fired up a few of their featured songs, and was pleasantly impressed by what I was hearing; something so refreshing and instantly appealing that even in my jaded state, I was hooked.

Empire State Troopers is probably best classified as a modern stoner rock band with 70s heavy metal influences, yet not quite in the way one would normally expect (a la doom metal). While the lyrical themes and fast paced energy share more in common with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age et al, it’s quite clear that the music of the Troopers is influenced heavily by such bands as Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath, among other 70s hard rock and metal acts; EST emanates a radiance of oldskool in their music that comes together remarkably naturally.

The first thing that really jumped out at me was the band’s crystal clear production quality, something I honestly wasn’t expecting from a group as relatively new as Empire State Troopers — though they’ve been rocking out since the early 90s, so clearly all four musicians are seasoned veterans. Perhaps it was because I had been so accustomed lately to trudging through demos and debuts of questionable mixing and engineering caliber, but the clarity and clean production of the Troopers’ music made a great first impression in my mind and was but the first sign of things to come, indeed.

After the heavy, catchy introductory riffs of “Dogs of Odessa”, in came the vocals of Kelly Murphy, and by that point I was positively addicted to this band like a narcotic obsession. Seldom do I encounter a singer who seems to pour every ounce of his or her soul and emotion into their lyrics, but that’s precisely the case in regards to EST’s resident banshee, as she seemingly teeters on the edge of a tearful hysteria at times with her bitter tales of neglect and rejection; you can clearly tell by her voice how authentic her raw emotion is, and in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if her stories themselves were equally authentic re-tellings based on her very own life experiences… stuff this heavy could only come directly from the heart and soul.
Ms. Murphy’s voice could hardly be any better suited for this style of rock, almost reminding me of a female variant of John Garcia upon first listen.
Backing up EST’s phenomenal songstress and laying down the heavy foundation of the band’s music is Jeff Fox on bass, Thom Hall on guitar and Nathan Pallace on drums, all of whom contribute remarkably to the end product. There is no substitute to what I feel when I hear their unique style. It’s like several rivers of emotions, vigor, and electricity flooding from my ears, into my veins, and flowing throughout all at once. Instrumentation is nothing short of masterful the entire way through, obviously the result of four highly skilled musicians; everything comes together so well.

Quote Jason Loewenstein, the man in charge of recording (along with DJ Miller), mixing and mastering Upstate Again: “They are one of relatively few bands that I know of, whose recordings are proof that they are of an embarrassingly rare breed of great live bands. This immediately sets them apart from the current landscape of bands whose existence is build on piecemeal constructions of heavily edited, quantized drumtracks, samples and use of pitch corrections. None of which were employed in the making on this great record.” Simply put, Empire State Troopers are the real deal. I can only hope they tour around my neck of the woods sometime in the near future!

Frankly, I’m shocked at how such a fantastic band such as Empire State Troopers has remained strictly underground for so long, yet at the same time genuinely excited for them as they continue to gain the exposure and popularity they deserve.
I humbly request that all Funeralopolis visitors pop over to their website and Myspace and at the very least check out a few of their featured tunes, you may end up being as surprised as I was.

Here’s to one of underground rock’s best kept secrets. - Funeralopolis.com


Upstate Again - CD (2008)
8 song demo (unreleased)



Recommended if you like: Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, The Jesus Lizard.

We are the Empire State because we alone have all the makings of a great empire. Coal. Grain. Timber. Iron. Granite and Slate. Livestock. Game. Fresh water. Our per-acre agricultural output far exceeds that of any other state. We are too far inland to be hurt by hurricanes, yet too coastal and hilly to see tornadoes of any significance. Long after the world's oil is gone, and the deserts once again are parched, we will still have our canals, our rivers and our lakes. This is our birthright, and from all of this- from the Hardcore squats of mid-1990s Buffalo to the North Country metal parties in July, from the explosives, the grease fires, the dog fights and homemade tattoos- Empire State Troopers make their rock.