This Glass Embrace

Brother, We Are Devils!

Written by: PP on 09/12/2011 05:11:47

This Glass Embrace are a band with two passions: indie rock and post-hardcore. But instead of trying to combine the two into a single expression, they choose to explore both styles fully one at a time through a 50/50 split on their latest offering "Brother, We Are Devils!". That is to say, the first five tracks on the album are quintessentially indie rock and lean on ideas from singer-songwriters as well as calm acoustically driven melodies, and the final five tracks venture deep into the realm of early 2000s post-hardcore (think Hawthorne Heights here).

Neither style is pure from another, despite the purposeful attempt of clearly separating the two. The indie melodies, although soothing, soft, and tranquil, have a faint vibe of post-hardcore to especially the vocal melodies, so on occasion they'll sound like the acoustic tracks you sometimes hear on the real post-hardcore releases. They certainly stick out from the norm in calm indie rock. And at the same time, the post-hardcore melodies of the latter half own a strong indie rock flavor to them, as if the singer-songwriter elements are carried over to the distorted guitars and the rare screams, which is unusual for the genre to say the least.

It's an interesting idea, but also one that can quickly turn into a lackluster one if not executed properly. The good news is that This Glass Embrace's two vocalists are, if not excellent, then at least very good. There is a Mixtapes-esque dynamic between a male and a female vocalist (Matthew LeFever, and his fiancé Jackie), which works as you'd expect in the indie side of the release, but really adds lots of contrast on the post-hardcore side. Matthew has just the right level of awkward teenager in his voice during these parts, which are countered by the confident vocals of Jackie nicely. Moreover, the lyrical output is superb all around. Although the sound leans towards the classic 00s emo in places, the topics deal with issues of religion rather than the cut my wrists and black my eyes imagery you might otherwise expect.

It's hard to pinpoint which style This Glass Embrace triumphs in, because both have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I lean towards the softer indie songs because here, Matthew's lower and softer vocal range suits the music better, and because there are moments during the post-hardcore side where the production and the perceived lack of tightness show their ugly side especially when things become loud. Still, it's impressive that the band are able to so well convey both styles without getting mixed up in one or the other.


Download: It All Cuts Both Ways Now, The Apple Of Discord
For the fans of: Hawthorne Heights meets The Spill Canvas
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 08.08.2011

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