September 16, 2021

New Fury Media

Music. Film. Media.

pulses. show less is more in short-but-sweet “Speak Less” (review)

pulses.’ Speak it into Existence sat at a pretty #4 in my album-of-the-year piece last year – I cherished the group’s eclectic, diverse nature and the record continues to see many plays from me.

Earlier this month, Loathe released a companion-piece to their 2020 LP, keeping with its theme and expanding its universe while exploring atypical sounds. Today, pulses. does the same with Speak Less.

The band tempered our expectations before release by stating that it’d be shorter in length, but I didn’t expect it to be a brief 18-minute experience for 12 tracks. Now, this is in no way a bad thing – album length isn’t the focus, the music is! So, how does Speak Less fare?

Just like Speak it into Existence, pulses. prove they’re not confined to one sound/genre. Much ire is drawn by comparison, but none is warranted for a group of musicians THIS talented. To encapsulate what pulses. is like is a challenge, as no two songs on Speak Less sound the same. Some moments are frenetic chaos, and the next are hyper-focused riffage.

Speak Less is best experienced in one sitting, yet it warrants multiple listens. In preparing this review, I gave it three listens due to its length. Everything from vocal fries to acoustic guitar to blast beats is present here. You’ll get 30 seconds of disarray in “If Life’s a Gift, I Hope you Kept the Receipt” and 30 seconds of somber in “I Meant It.” More than just B-sides, Speak Less is an extension of the musicianship exhibited in the previous effort.

All the moving parts in pulses. come together as competently in Speak Less as everything else the band has done to this point. It’s ripe for replays, and essential listening for fans who are already harping about it all over Twitter. Surely you’ve got 20 minutes to spare today – check out what pusles. has to offer in Speak Less!

Rating: 9/10

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