Embracer – Mend – EP review

Embracer – Mend [Take This To Heart Records]Embracer - mend

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Available Oct 09

I have to confess that when I am sent music to review I tend not to read the accompanying record Company or PR blurb.  This is especially true if I am not familiar with the band.  I prefer to listen without pre-conceptions.  As a result I confess that this has lead to some real surprises, some of them not exactly pleasant at that.

So it proved with Embracer’s latest offering, Mend.  Of course those who have been reading these pages for a while know that here at Sound Of Summer we only review music that we connect with.  When I first spoke to the lovely people at Take This To Heart Records I checked out a few of the bands on their label on YouTube and found that most had a punk, post-punk or hardcore leaning so when I sat down to listen to this EP I expected to have my eardrums assaulted.  I had also spotted that Embracer had been on the Vans Warped Tour so I most certainly did not expect what I actually got.

There may only be three track on this release but they are beautiful.  I don’t mean just nice this is stripped back to the bone, acoustic, personal and heartbreakingly beautiful.  For the most part the sound is just vocalist Jordan Bradley and an acoustic guitar.  The vocal is simply stunning, pitch perfect and full of emotion as he tells his tales of broken families, absent fathers and broken hearts.  Where Bradley’s heart is on his sleeve mine was in my mouth, this is lump in the throat raw emotion, painful experience put to music.

I won’t try to provide a breakdown of each track it would be pointless.  In “Remission” Bradley sings about “being afraid to breathe and break the silence” and that is how this music grabbed me.  From first note to last I was enthralled, gripped and almost afraid to breathe for fear of breaking the spell that Bradley weaves with his voice.

This is music that leaves you emotionally exhausted, drained.  Dark, brooding, emotional and personal from beginning to end Mend gives a real insight into the bands songwriting skills and probably what is to come from Embracer.  I for one can’t wait for a full length release from this band.


EMBRACER is a five-piece outfit based out of Charleston, West Virginia. They are on Facebook, they Tweet as @Embracer

Check out Take This To Heart Records at their website, on Facebook, They Tweet as @T3Hrecords and you can check out other artists signed to the label on their YouTube channel

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

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