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156/Silence - Irrational Pull

Irrational Pull
by Liam True at 18 January 2021, 6:38 PM

"Irrational Pull" wastes no time introducing itself. The entirety of 156/SILENCE’s sophomore full length can be understood by listening to the opening track, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. "High Dive in a Low Well" is a sludgy affair of metallic Hardcore, featuring a pleasantly audible bass and solid vocal combination which is hard to achieve in any genre. While it doesn’t showcase extraordinary song writing, "Irrational Pull" is a masterclass in creating a Hardcore record that sounds heavy, feels angry and may get some listeners to bang their heads (or, eh, tap their feet). Upon accomplishment of this simplistic-but-effective goal, the band gets the hell out, making the album a concise, satisfying listen.

However, as technically "good" as most aspects of "Irrational Pull" are, with decent performances from every member and highly appropriate production, there are very few original ideas to be found. The likes of VEIN, STRAY FROM THE PATH, TERROR, and many other bands have been treading this same ground for years, with 156/SILENCE falling somewhere in the middle quality-wise. As a result, the album feels somewhat restricted by design: on the one hand, one might avoid this record in favor of similar, better ones. On the other hand, "Irrational Pull" is highly competent, meaning that fans of this brand of Hardcore are likely to get a lot out of it, even if they are the only ones who do so.

Occasionally, 156/SILENCE distinguishes itself from its peers for brief, satisfying moments. The final half of "Conflict of Interest," for example, is a genuinely haunting passage fully accomplishing evoking the unsettling feeling it is clearly aiming for. Similarly, "Problem Addict’s" breakdown is an expertly crafted, madness-inducing minute. Hopefully, the band is able to tap into these moments more expansively on future projects, seeing as these moments elevate the album slightly above being merely ‘good’. Simply put, "Irrational Pull" is an effective, competently written and performed album that won’t shatter any expectations but definitely makes for a satisfying half-hour long experience culminating with a cover of "Them Bones" from Grunge superstars ALICE IN CHAINS which, lets say, was better left untouched.

Musicianship: 6
Songwriting: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. High Dive In A Low Well
2. God’s Departure
3. Taste Of Ashes
4. Upset/Unfed
5. Lost Visual
6. Problem Addict
7. Conflict Of Interest
8. By A thread (I Suspend)
9. Irrational Pull
10. Denouement
11. Vexation
12. No Angel
13. Them Bones
Jack Murray: Vocals
Jimmy Howell: Guitar
Ryan Wilkinson: Guitar
Kyle O’Connor: Bass
Max Bradshaw: Drums 
Record Label: Sharptone Records


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