Pop: A feel of the Embrace to come

Embrace The Garage, Glasgow

Pop loves to swathe itself in mythology, and Embrace come complete with a fable they seem determined to live up to. When, last February, the original version of their present single "All You Good Good People" was issued as a 1,200-run limited edition seven inch, the lot sold out within two hours. Offer one of the lucky 1,200 pounds 50 for one today, and he'll think about it.

Couple this tale to the fact that Embrace feature two Northern brothers of Irish descent prone to bickering and bragging and you'll know who's been lumbered with the "New Oasis" mantle. Not that the McNamara brothers' unashamedly emotional brand of anthemic pop pales beside the Gallaghers' sentimental pub rock - but there's plenty of room on Embrace for more and better labels.

The pair number Curtis Mayfield and Brian Wilson among their influences, and there are moments of the erstwhile Impressionist's warmth and the former Beach Boy's melancholic estrangement. The brothers say they've already written not just February's forthcoming debut album, but the one after that, so the live shows should be a reliable indication of things to come. But can they sustain the gorgeous melodic drift of "All You Good Good People" and confirm what Danny McNamara, the band's lyricist, suspected to be the truth when he said: "Noel knows we're better than he is"?

pounds 7.50, The Garage (0141 248 6606), then touring nationally

Mike Higgins

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