Embrace - Embrace ©1987 Dischord
1. Give Me Back
2. Dance Of Days
3. Building
4. Past
5. Spoke
6. Do Not Consider Yourself Free
7. No More Pain
8. I Wish I
9. Said Gun
10. Can't Forgive
11. Money
12. If I Never Thought About It
13. End Of A Year
14. Last Song

Between his rather famous role as singer for Minor Threat and his decade plus stint as legend in Fugazi, Ian MacKaye had a brief tenure in a Washington DC band called Embrace that record an album's worth of songs but broke up before anyone bothered to release it on Dischord. There are some folks out there who find this particular song to be one of the best things MacKaye has ever been involved in. I personally wouldn't venture that far but in fact, this album is solid outing that shows that none of the four members were wasting their time here.

Anyone expecting Minor Threat Part II are going to be disappointed as Embrace took a more mid paced route with the music, as well as a sense of broadened song structure. MacKaye sounds pretty passionate about the topics covered in the songs, using his voice more effectively than at any time with Minor Threat. The other musicians, Chris Bald on bass, Michael Hampton on guitar and Ivor Hanson on drums, are all quite good at their instruments, giving a bit of extra touch to the music. Bald's basswork in particular throws in a lot of subtle bonuses throughout. You could almost call this album progressive hardcore because the band is putting a lot of effort into mature ability. Though the band was short lived, this disc shows that the band did have a bit of magic going on and serves as a great bonus prize for fans of MacKaye's musical career or the DC hardcore scene and not just some trivial footnote.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2000

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