Review Summary: Competently complacentIrrational 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, solid vocals and mildly awkward lyricism (‘I can’t blame myself for your *** ups / You’re ***ed up and selfish as *** for all the things you’ve done’). While it doesn’t showcase extraordinary songwriting, 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 favour 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.