The follow-up to their 2011 debut, Kings, finds I Am Empire in rare form and ready to rock. Chalk up the band's growth to a grueling touring schedule. The sweat equity paid off, as has the band's inability to put down their pens: Constantly writing, they had plenty of songs to choose from when it was time to record Anchors. One listen and you can see why they're a hit in Germany (but not in a David Hasselhoff way) -- the band's harder, edgy, glam-tinged take on rock is perfect for a European crowd. As for the lyrics, it's an all-American mix of 20-something disillusionment and desperate hope.