The only thing that connects Kirin J Callinan to his older material is his name. He's spent time in Mercy Arms, and his main project is Jack's Ladder, but his solo material easily eclipses everything else he's been a part of. Somewhat influenced by his other work, Callinan has nonetheless gone on to make an album that smashes through the confines of genre.

Songs which seem abrasive and unwelcoming are nowhere near as harsh and cold-sounding as they may seem; the pop-oriented moments show hidden depths; and nothing is ever really as it seems. Just as he implores the listener to do on the title track, on which a playground scuffle is used as the basis for a meditation on humanity's primal side, Callinan doesn't hold anything back. It's all in the spirit of the album's title: embracism. No ideas are shut out, and every side of his musical personality gets to speak out.

Taken as a whole, Embracism is a rough ride: 'Halo' kicks things off in a manner that suggests Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails got together and jammed out what would later become an extremely powerful song; it's caught between its pop roots and a radical industrial bent, and a similar conflict crops up elsewhere on the record. 'Come On USA' lets Callinan's harsher side out, taking a scathing look at the idea of American patriotism (choice line: "The blue, white and red is already dead") and featuring possibly the angriest vocal take on the record - and this is from a man who doesn't usually hold back. When he does, that's usually a sign that things are about to take a radically different direction.

For his next trick, he does a complete stylistic U-turn and delivers what, in an ideal world, would be a hit single anywhere; the shamelessly poppy 'Victoria M', all booming drums, towering melodies and surprising effervescence. The only time he comes close to that again is on penultimate track 'Landslide', a waltzing ballad that once again displays captivating musical dexterity after the searing, full-on industrial noise of 'Way II War'.

The record's centrepiece is a multi-part, six-minute masterwork called 'Chardonnay Sean', a bed of dramatic strings laying the foundations for a song that surprises at every turn. Pivoting around a brief instrumental freak-out in the middle, the song starts slowly and gracefully, and goes out with a bang; wonderful orchestration helps the album to reach its peak as the strings duke it out with brass for the right to be heard, guiding the track towards its plateau, but suddenly, everything stops, and the listener's plunged into the depths of an unsettling, minor-key orchestral coda which reminds them that Callinan's intentions can change at the drop of a hat, sometimes swinging violently from one extreme to the other, but always remembering to do so with the purest of purpose.

For all its sonic shifts and bracing unpredictability, Callinan isn't just experimenting for the sake of it: he has enough experience to know exactly what he's doing, and his debut solo effort is impressively confident. Embrace it.