Inclination – “Thoughts & Prayers” & “A Decision”

Errick Easterday

Inclination – “Thoughts & Prayers” & “A Decision”

Errick Easterday

Back in 2019, the Louisville straight-edge hardcore band Inclination released the towering EP When Fear Turns To Confidence. Since then, a whole lot of people have been really, really hoping for Inclination to come back with something hard. Today, the band has finally returned with two absolute face-destroyers.

Inclination, which features Knocked Loose’s Isaac Hale on guitar, specialize in a kind of passionate, metallic take on ’90s scream-along hardcore. Singer Tyler Short has a fervent bellow and a serious sense of lyrical focus, and you can hear all that at work on the new two-song single A Glimpse Through The Lens. The new songs “Thoughts & Prayers” and “A Decision,” recorded with Weekend Nachos’ Andy Nelson, are punishing, pulse-pounding anthems, and they sound like throwing yourself through a cinderblock wall.

As the title implies, “Thoughts & Prayers” is a bitter and angry song about politicians who do nothing while people die: “Spin the story anyway you can/ Absolve your guilt of the mess we’re in/ Scumsucking motherfucker, you offer nothing but thoughts and prayers!” The video shows Inclination playing live and putting all their energy into it. B-side “A Decision” doesn’t sound like a B-side. The song features guest vocals from One Step Closer’s Ryan Savitski and Magnitude’s Russell Bussey, and it’s a restatement of commitment to straight-edge. Listen to both bangers below.

In a press release, Tyler Short says:

I wrote “Thoughts & Prayers” because I was sick of watching the people who have been elected to power in this country more or less stand idly by as the community I live in, as well as countless others, are ripped apart by a drug epidemic. The fact that the majority of these individuals are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies that helped push these drugs on people who were not clearly informed of the risk all but guarantees that no substantive change would or could be made. Instead, they take to the complicit media and offer thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers can’t fix the backbreaking labor or economic anxiety that hangs around the working classes’ neck 52 weeks a year, but as long as healthcare is allowed to run as a for-profit enterprise, those existential problems have no incentivized solution. So we will be patronized by our leaders and divided amongst each other while they attempt to convince us that it’s our fault for ending up here and it won’t matter how many of us die in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

“A Decision” is a look at the feeling of finding straight edge at the age I did, when I still really didn’t know who I was, and deciding to identify with the movement. That’s what straight edge is to me; it’s a movement towards something. I think that “something” varies depending on who you are talking to, and I wanted to venture out and ask that question of a couple of our contemporaries. I reached out to Russ from Magnitude and Ryan from One Step Closer and asked them if they’d be a part of the song and help me write it by giving their unique perspective and voice to what it means to make that decision. Straight edge has shaped my life and I think there is value to everyone’s individual journeys toward this collective idea.

A Glimpse Through The Lens is out now on Pure Noise. A flexi of both songs will be available when Inclination play Louisville’s LDB Fest next month.

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