Kyoto-born, SoCal raised GRMLN (by day, he assumes the alter-ego 'Yoodoo Park' - some say it's his 'real name'...) astounded critics and a melange of other people with his 2012 EP, Explore. The then 19-year-old showed an impressive capability when it came to handling white-hot lo-fi surf-rock/pop-punk (hyphens!) - his sounds were doused in a summery dragée and noises that belied his years. Now his debut LP is right around the corner, we can have a gander and see if that sprightly burst of energy translates to a longform release.

One thing's for sure – Park flippin' loves traditional American sounds. Take 'Cheer Up': it's a doo-wop spree, a swooning rock'n'roll ballad brimming with 50s schmaltz and leather-clad greaser aggressiveness. There are stabs of distortion, but for the most part, this is a deliciously corny bundle of charm that your grandparents can admire. On 'Summer Days', Park tackles 70s CBGB punk noises (albeit spruced up and dusted off). There's a plethora of chunky chords and gravelly drawling, mixed with bouts of percussion that sound like a drumkit in a washing machine. '1993' opens with a Jet-cum-Strokes basslines - it's jangly, thrashy and rampant like a good rock belter should be.

Whilst much of Empire is lo-fi at heart, there's a pop sheen lacquered onto it all. There's no dreary wailing like the primary export of the region (á la Best Coast), and no abrasive drug-fuelled howls of the second main output (FIDLAR) - instead, we're graced with a solid rock album, mixing the aesthetics of the former with the energy of the latter. This first full-length offering features some wildly fantastic music, but there's the danger of his subject matter wearing thin. Park's age is perhaps of detriment - Empire is loaded with teenage pep, which on one hand is great (he's a dab hand at bounding optimism), but on the other, there's only so many times you can hear his lovelorn misadventures (and on 'Hand Pistol', emo pinings) before you start to begin to contemplate necking a bullet.

Fortunately, his voice is largely swallowed by distortion and reverb. Not because he's a bad singer, 'cause he's most certainly not, it just means that we don't always hear what he's singing. Pop-punk is a term readily applied to GRMLN, but it doesn't come across here. There's moments of punk sounds with pop gloss, but it's not 'pop-punk' as we know it today, per se (i.e. there's no Green Day/YouMeAtSix/Taking Back Sunday shite going on). It's more akin to a grimy, fuzzed-out attempt at traditional rock'n'roll, which is something that comes across very strong. On that basis, it's hard to fault Park. He's adept at whittling monumental choruses, and injects panache into his hooks.

It's all-to-easy to stop caring about Park's relationship woes after a while. Fortunately, there's plenty on offer on Empire to distract you. Most - nay, every - track is fine-tuned to capitalise on the blazing heat. It's a trashy mishmash of revitalised 70s/50s rock, designed since the blueprints to be played on whatever the modern equivalent of a boombox is (iPhone dock?) during pleasantly wasted days at the beach. Surf to it, BBQ to it, wear Ray-Bans to it. If you're partial to a bit of rock'n'roll, you'll cherish this album long after the summer sunlight fades.