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June 2000 Pick of the Month
The Narrow Scope of Things
Artist:  Embodyment
Label:  Solid State Records
Time:  12 Tracks/52:12 minutes

Samples
Winter Kiss
Due to be released 6/18

The band's name and their home label were all I needed to make up my mind.  "Great," I thought, sliding the CD into its slot in the player, "more hardcore."  So you can imagine my surprise when, several measures into the first song, Sean Corbray, Embodyment's lead singer, greeted me with a well-crafted and performed melody.  With the addition of Corbray, the band has abandoned the thrashy hardcore they were formerly known for, instead favoring a more emo direction this time around.  However, unlike most emo singers, Corbray has some idea of how to sing on key, and as a result, The Narrow Scope of Things is more listenable than the majority of emo-influenced albums that have crossed my desk in the past year. 

Don't think that Embodyment has lost their edge, though, hardcore fans:  several songs, most notably "Assembly Line Humans" contain that teeth-grinding, bone-crunching hard edge that Solid State Records is known for, and these songs should satiate even the angriest hardcore kid.  For the rest of us, The Narrow Scope of Things offers several absolutely gorgeous ballads, the best of these being "One Less Addiction":

    I fight this with two closed fists
     Under a purple sky
     Naked trees are clawing for the air
     This won't pull on emotions

     But it's something to do
     Go ahead, try it
     If you dislike, refunds at the door
     I always fell for the sucker punch…

     I'll remain transparent
     And while you speak in codes, I'll speak in spirit

Other songs, such as "Pendulum" attempt (rather unsuccessfully, in my opinion) to combine the band's new softer edge with hardcore.  In the end, though, if The Narrow Scope of Things is remembered for anything, it will be for the remarkable pop sensibilities and melodies crafted within.

Michial Farmer 5/19/2000


 
 

 

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