Album Review: Enemies – Embark, Embrace

image Irish-based instrumental outfit Enemies unveiled their latest work, ‘Embark, Embrace’, to the world on August 20th. Plucking elements of post-rock, math-rock and also indie pop led them to gain an array of different audiences with the release of their debut LP ‘We’ve Been Talking’ back in 2010. Those who were fans of the band’s previous formula might cringe when told that this sophomore LP has the addition of vocals on a few of tracks, but I can assure you that this record contains 10 tracks of perfection, and the vocals do nothing but add to the already embracing sound of Enemies.

I might complain that the intro’s 47 second running time renders it pointless, if it wasn’t so instantly moving that is. 47 seconds is all it needs to touch your heart and grab your attention, setting you up for the record to really get started with ’Executive Cut’, which also features Conor Adams. It certainly starts the album off with a bang, capturing every element of Enemies abilities and presenting them in one 3-minute expectation-raising first song. Further along the track list, the bounciness of ‘Beecher’ excellently demonstrates the element of this record that I enjoy the most, which is that Enemies are focusing on producing a much more happy, positive and joyful brand of post-rock that I, personally, am not used to hearing. The midwest-emo-esque guitar lead line that opens ‘Indian Summer’ is another perfect example of this, after which the track majestically evolves as it spans across its just-under-5-minute run time and towards the end we’re introduced to a reverb-laden lead guitar part in the vein of Peace / Swim Deep. I honestly didn’t think I’d be making comparisons to either of those bands when I started this review and in fact, that helps me lead into another point, which is that you really never know what is going to come next. From song to song, Enemies change it up seamlessly and pack in what seems like influences from across all types of music and it’s very difficult to make that sound as good as they do.

As the album progresses through tracks like ‘Nighthawks’, ‘Moesha’ and ‘Northwest’, the dream-pop elements are ever-prominent, though it’s important to note that the math-rock /post-rock that the album is built on still shines through making sure each track doesn’t drift too far from each other. Each song is sprinkled with the twinkly guitar lead lines we were originally introduced to right at the beginning and although each part is done in a similar style to each other, the record doesn’t grow boring or tiresome as you might expect. There’s just something about each part of each song that sounds as fresh and original as the last, which is something that a lot of bands fail to do. Enemies have, however, perfected that art.

In conclusion, you need to listen to this record. Enemies’ ability to create catchy songs that will stick in your head without the use of vocal hooks should definitely be applauded, as well as being able to create more of an atmosphere in a 47 second intro than most bands are able to within a 4-minute song. Even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea on paper I can’t urge you enough to branch out and listen to this album as I would very comfortably label it as essential listening for records released this year.


’Embark, Embrace by Enemies is out now on Topshelf Records.

Enemies links: Facebook|Twitter|Tumblr

Words by Joe Hart (@notthejoehart)


This website collects cookies to deliver better user experience. Learn more.