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Artist of the day: Empire Cinema

Empire Cinema has been a presence on the Tampa Bay music scene for a while, so it's a little surprising that this week marks the release of their debut EP.

It could have something to do with the fact that there's an entirely new lineup surrounding singer Brendon Hock these days - guitarist Christian Stewart, bassist Jeff Dominguez and drummer Jimi Bob. The group plays a sparse, atmospheric style of alt-rock that could easily be compared to Modest Mouse, The National and Joy Division. "We want to the band that Tampa is proud of," Hock told tbt* in 2011. "We wanna put Tampa on the map as much as we wanna put ourselves on the map."

Empire Cinema will release their EP with DieAlps! and Macrame Owls at 9 p.m. Friday at New World Brewery. Tickets are $7. Click here.

Photo: Nicole Abbett