The Good Will Out My Eye!

* Embrace - Dischord 1987. *
Rating = 10

Don't be fooled as so many have before - that band called "Embrace" that have an album called The Good Will Out are imposters to the throne. The REAL Embrace was an old DC band featuring Ian MacKaye post-Minor Threat and pre-Fugazi, along with three guys that Ian completely STOLE from The Faith, a band led by his poor defenseless brother Alec. After completely STEALING them, destroying Alec's f(F)aith and forcing him to create a truly mediocre band called Ignition, Ian and his Embrace created one of the first and greatest albums in the subgenre of punk called "Elmo." College students spend lots of time arguing over the true definition of "Elmo," but basically it's any type of music based on Elmo and Patsy's "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer."

Additionally, Ian sings very emotionally on this album, foregoing the social attacks of Minor Threat and poetic what-the-hells of Fugazi to cry and rail for peace, love and understanding. And what's so funny about Pee-Sloppy Underpanties? Ho-oh! Point bean that unlike Guy Pississippi's Rites of Spring, Embrace had a very tight, studio-clear sound similar to that of Minor Threat's Out Of Step but with only one guitar. As I said, Ian uses an extremely emotional vocal approach this time out - he sounds GENUINELY torn to pieces about his friend calling him up to talk about money, and about how he's just looking for a way to live with "No More Pain." And the musicians sound fantastic. Bassist Chris Bald is MUCH more active than your normal punk bass player, refusing to tow the company line of just playing the same chords that the guitarist is playing, thus giving a real "yes, we know what we're doing, damn you to pieces!" feel to the album. And guitarist Michael Hampton is enjoying arpeggios like only a young post- hardcore slasher can. Oh! That's another point. This isn't high-speed hardcore. It's uptempo but - again - only like that second Minor Threat "album." Maybe even slower than that. Midtempo punk perhaps?

You know what? There's no way that this album would have gotten a 10 on the important Mark Prindle Scale of Objective Quality if any other singer had been on it. Ian takes a collection of good-to-great (not to mention surprisingly diverse and dynamic) 2-minute songs and makes them SOAR into the heavens of arm-stretching Godliness. I realize I'm jumping all around from music to vocals back to music and vocals and then to vocals, but here are some lyrics, so you can see what "emo" meant back in the D.ayC.are center.

Track one: "Trying to pull out my feelings but they're deep beneath the day/Time, Time, Time, Time, Time, has hidden them away" (now that I see it written down, all those repetitions of the word "Time" look an awful lot like a guy trying to cover up his failure to think of a third line)
Song B: "I thought my eyes would be dry but now I see/ and know the moment has a bitter taste"
Third song's the charm!: THE AMAZING "Building" I LOVE THIS FUCKIN SONG!!!!: "I can't express the way I feel/Without fucking up something else"
Fourth time around: "I failed you as a person who should've cared/I shut my mouth because I was scared" (this song - "Past" - appears to be about Ian losing a friend to drug abuse or suicide)
Next song: "This driving force that makes me speak and care and care/and try to change rearrange make sense of this mess/Sometimes I laugh - sometimes I couldn't care less"
Next: "If I can do some good, I want to do it/If I have a choice, I want to make it"

See? Do you understand what EMO is now? It's emotional stuff! And Ian KICKED ASS at it on this album. Here! Here's some more!

""No more suicide - it kills everyone/No more petty love/No more petty hate/No more pettiness/NO MORE PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Aw man I'm all excited (damp penis) now. I LOVE THIS ALBUM SO MUCH!!!!!!!!

If you like Emotions and I don't mean The Pretty Things album ha ha! Ha haha! HAHHAAAHA!!! HA!!! Heeee! HA!!!! Ha! Heeeheeeheeheeheeheeheeheeeheeheeehe then you MUST, repeat MUST, repeat MUST INCREASE YOUR BUST and buy the album The Good Will Hunting by Matt Damon.

Is there some reason that this Bud E. Luv album Diary Of A Loungeman, a collection of wacky lounge versions of Ozzy Osbourne songs, is about as unfunny as you'd think it would be? Get this! He's doing "Sweet Leaf" now and he keeps making hilarious COUGHING noises throughout the whole song, which is played as a polka!!!!!!!

And don't get me started about the way he spends the last FULL MINUTE of "Mr. Crowley" complaining that he doesn't know what "polemically" means.

Okay, I'm actually enjoying the shitty album. (*shoots self in head*)

Before you start bitching and moaning that there's no way I could have TYPED "shoots self in head" if I actually HAD shot myself in the head, let me point out that these words right here are being typed by little chunks of brain and skull falling onto the keyboard, hitting keys completely at random.

Which you have to admit is still an improvement over my usual practice of writing reviews by randomly spraying shit and urine all over the keyboard!

Reader Comments

Embrace gets a ten? I can't really argue. The guitar sound is one of a kind, and Ian really lets loose on these tracks. "Money" sounds like a dischord anthem, "no more pain" and "building" are truly fuckin' gut wrenching. This is one of the few moments in Ian's career where you can see him questioning himself, proving that he is vunerable like any one else. This record, along with Rites of Spring and the first Dag Nasty album from the best of Dischord's "Revolution Summer" in '85. Speaking of which, when are we gonna see a review for the best thing Dave Smalley and Brian Baker did (ever), the excellent "Can I Say" ? The new remastered disc sounds 1000x better than the old twofer w/ "Wig Out". Anyway, Embrace = 10/10

to000010@students.ist.edu.gr (Vasilios Karamouslis)
This is one of the first and best emocore albums ever released. Ian has never sung like this again. He was so emotional in this album and the rest of the band is amazing. The music is melodic and atmospheric. The lyrics are perfect: simple and understandable. One thing that I miss listening to FUGAZI is those great, simple lyrics that EMBRACE had and all the early 80 's hardcore bands had. I love this record more than FUGAZI albums. The only complaint that I have is the production. The vocals sound too strong and the amazing guitar, bass and the drums are buried. The production could have been better. It 's an excellent record that anyone who likes FUGAZI SHOULD OWN. 10/10.

Great album, great songs, you can really see how they transitioned from Minor Threat to Fugazi with this record. Money is really great on this album, it's a great cover of Pink Floyd.

Ian MacKaye is really at his top here. I like this better then Fugazi and Minor threat (and the Teen Idles). I wish they would've continued and made more albums, or anything. This blows away any of the neo-emo shoe gazing crap we have now a-days. Embrace is not emocore, punk, hardcore they make themselves their own genre with this album. It's just really amazing.

A 10 for Embrace?! X marks the spot where Prindle's heart is over his head. Tracks 6-10 ("Do Not Consider Yourself Free" to "Can't Forgive") is the worst sequence of songs that Ian Muck Eye ever put his name on.

"Dance Of Days", "Building" and "Money" are the best tracks on this album in my opinion.

"This is one of the first and best emocore albums ever released. Ian has never sung like this again. He was so emotional in this album and the rest of the band is amazing."

Oh lord, Vasilios Karamouslis shut the f**k up.

Alec was to be the original lead singer for Fugazi. He left what was then a project to form Ignition. Calling Ignition mediocre is crazy. They were great and better than Embrace. Colin Seers also left the fugazi project to play drums for Dag Nasty. That left Ian and Joe Lally waiting for the project to become a band. That's were the song "Waiting Room" came from. Ian and Alec were always tight. Embrace was a good band, hardly the level of minor threat or fugazi. But there would not have been a Fugazi if there wasn't an Embrace. Growing up in the DC area I know alot of people that say Ignition would have been bigger than Fugazi, if they could stay together.

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