Album Review: "When Fear Turns to Confidence" - Inclination (Pure Noise)

(Photo Credit: Errick Easterday)
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, there’s not a chance you haven’t heard of Inclination by now. A supergroup that was described by many as "[insert member here's] new band" has rightfully become top-tier metallic straight edge hardcore that has become an instant classic. Adding to the legacy left by their first EP, the band dropped another EP, “When Fear Turns to Confidence,” on Pure Noise Records.

The 5-song attack perfectly encapsulates almost every reason there is to claim - feelings of rage, empowerment, and a desire for society (and oneself) to be better. Each song stands on its own, with not a single one blending into the other. The intro of the title track, “When Fear Turns to Confidence,” is the kind that hardcore has been sorely lacking - an almost theatrical, tension-building intro that goes from slow, reverb-heavy arpeggios into something heavier.

Short explained this track to No Echo: “I think a lot of kids on the road to selling out demonstrate an innate fear of drugs that they can’t be around them because they may do them. But as you get older, that fear kinda washes away if you are straight edge for your own reasons. 'When Fear Turns to Confidence' is about that shift when you find yourself dedicated to the X.”

“Vagrant,” my favorite track, blends seamlessly from the title track. This song is a highly personal one (the subject was mentioned when this was debuted at LDB) about someone who isn’t only an addict, but a shitty person who puts drugs ahead of their friends. Following closely behind is “Uninhibited,” a song that directly contradicts the Vagrant’s way of living with Short’s straight edge ethos - “I wanna feel everything/All the joy and all the pain/I wanna feel it exactly as it’s intended/I wanna live uninhibited.”

“Into the Shadows” follows with a 90’s hardcore-reminiscent spoken word intro - another one that is a splintering direct message to someone you can’t help but be glad isn’t you. Wrapping the record up is “Inclination,” the quintessential hardcore band mission statement, closing with “A drug free proclamation/My straight edge inclination.” As the EP finishes on the same echo-y riff of the first track, it gives the entire project a nice closure.

To loosely paraphrase vocalist Tyler Short at LDB Fest: they’re not a militant straight edge band, but they’re a really straight edge band. In an age where most of the good edge bands are breaking edge or breaking up, Inclination​ is just what we needed.

Luckily for you, if you’re one of the many who haven’t been able to pick up any merch from the band, you can snag a few things and preorder the album via clicking the image below.

Additionally, you can listen to “When Fear Turns to Confidence” via Spotify below.


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