Three months ago Imminence Records announced the signing of US indie rock/post-hardcore band Embracer and this week sees the unveiling of their label debut, the rather flavoursome and captivating My Father’s Will EP. Consisting of five imaginative and passionately presented tracks, the release is a rigorously enticing proposition from a band with the potential to make big strides ahead.
The West Virginian band initially began in 2010 as a hardcore fuelled encounter and with the name World Famous, but a name change with the release of the Dreamers EP came in 2011 revealed an emerging shifting and growth in the band and sound. Line-up changes and evolution in ideas and invention, before and from that time, saw the band begin its development into the fiery melodic rock proposal before us with My Father’s Will. Inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Circa Survive, Polyneso, Balance and Composure, and This Will Destroy You, Embracer has been a determined force, battling the less than supportive Charleston music scene. They have continued though to brew up attention and a potent fan base which the Matt Malpass (Dance Gavin Dance, Hey Monday, Relient K, Manchester Orchestra) recorded My Father’s Will can only reinforce and accelerate.
It is always important to make a good first impression in any aspect of life, and it is fair to say that Embracer makes a striking one with opener A Man Without Country. A sultry twang of melodic guitar coaxes ears at first to be swiftly joined by the impressive tones of vocalist Jordan Bradley, his voice expressive and potent ensuring lyrics and emotions get a clear airing from within songs. Guitarists Karl Shaver and Ryan Pullin cast enticing chords and melodies around him whilst drummer Zakk Garcia and bassist Dylan Costinteen build an unimposing but sinew lined frame across and through it all. Essences of melodic and alternative rock also colour the post hardcore fuelled track, every moment a fascinating and unpredictable portrait of sound and emotion.
It is an outstanding start swiftly matched by the following Downtrodden. There is a similarity in the cavernous production of the vocals at certain times and the ebbing and flowing of the intensity across the powerful encounter, but similarly there is an individual presence and drama to the gripping adventure. The song reminds of now demised Dead Til Friday across its inventive temptation, never a bad comparison, and also in its smouldering infectiousness of Able Archer, the track even in is restrained gait discovering a persistent bounce.
My Sons My Brothers sidles gracefully up to ears next, again a single guitar stroking senses and thoughts with its evocative melodies before the track expands its expressive and creative breath. By the third song it is easy to see that there is a familiarity between songs if not quite a firm similarity, structures and textures never straying from a seemingly shared template. Despite that though, there is little to defuse the lure and potency of songs, this track a melancholic but vibrant and thickly emotive offering of predominantly instrumental skill and enterprise.
Band and release continue to impress with the emotionally full-blooded Anastasia and finally its punchy title track. The first of the two is a thrilling and pungent wash of raging melodies and vocal emotion. The most inventively colourful and flirtatious track on the release, it steals the passions like no other, almost alone making Embracer a prospect to nail to the radar. It’s mouth-watering quality and provocative beauty makes way for the rich passion and inflamed emotive hues of the last song, My Father’s Will a tender but rugged blaze of melodic fire and stirring expression across an equally intense skeleton of rhythms and bracing shadows. It is a fine end to an excellent first look for us at Embracer, an encounter which already has bred keen anticipation for their next endeavour.
There are no major negatives to conjure up about the release though certainly tracks are closely related in many ways to require closer focus to stop a few merging. There is also for personal tastes an overuse of the hollow effect on Bradley’s vocals across the album which niggles rather than lures, and he certainly does not need any assistance from technology to impress it should be noted, but these are small things which will iron out as the band grows. Right now Embracer is a highly promising and definitely enjoyable proposition, the evidence is all there in My Father’s Will.
The My Father’s Will EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-fathers-will
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