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Anyone who ever wondered how hardcore pioneer Ian MacKaye could make such a drastic transition from the gritty, explosive, and terse music of Minor Threat to the expansive, melodic, and unpredictable sound of Fugazi can find the answer in Embrace. Along with Rights of Spring (fronted by Fugazi co-singer Guy Piccoloto), Embrace is considered to have pioneered the emocore sound. After years of screaming with Minor Threat, MacKaye began singing melodic, introspective lines with Embrace, which kept the fire and passion of hardcore, albeit slower and more heartfelt. Legend has it the new sound prompted someone in the audience to yell that Embrace was "emocore." Though it's hard to argue any of the hardcore bands weren't emotional, the emo label spread around D.C. and attached itself to many of Dischord's bands, as well as Sunny Day Real Estate and its progeny. After MacKaye left Minor Threat and brother Alec MacKaye left hardcore outfit Faith, Ian MacKaye and Faith's other three members -- bassist Chris Bald, guitarist Michael Hampton, and drummer Ivor Hanson -- formed Embrace in the spring of 1985. Over the next ten months, Embrace recorded an album's worth of material and unceremoniously broke up. In 1987, MacKaye and his label Dischord finally released the band's one and only album, Embrace, and the emocore revolution was well underway. ~ Ron DePasquale

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