Review Summary: Crustaceaos metalcore
Click-clack, click-clack, click-clack. The sonic pattering of tiny feet on weathered shale benignly arises from a British Columbian shoreline; the sound of hundreds and hundreds of decapod crustaceans -- specifically, crabs. Bobbing their exoskeletal heads to a distant beat, the congregation of crabs - ranging in size from the miniscule pea crab to the legendary Japanese spider crab - are amassing together under a common purpose: to boogie to Attack Attack!'s crab-tastic single 'Stick Sickly', the anthem of Crustacea. Frantically waving their kinetic legs in the air and slamming their monstrous claws down to the ground in time with the infectious beat, the throng of crustaceans were gathered to celebrate their freshwater emergence in popular music and to memorialize the dawn of a new, wild genre of music.
Those unfamiliar with the music scene's newest meme - the aforementioned "crabcore" - are likely scratching their heads furiously and wondering why this review starts with what seems to be, at best, an LSD-induced hallucination dredged up from the blurry past of the reviewer. Allow me to explain: Attack Attack! shot a video for their single 'Stick Sickly' that involved - along with their bad music - two-step dancing, guitar-waving and most importantly, synchronized crab-walk-headbanging. Once this video surfaced online, some French kid with a broadband connection pretentiously noted in a YouTube comment that the band looked and danced like crabs -- little did he know he had coined the subgenre for a new generation of deplorability. After the watching said music video, even the most gracious of listeners will be immediately repulsed. That being said, it's incorrect to critique a band based solely on their image, no matter how distracting that image may be.
Unfortunately for Attack Attack!, the only thing worse than their music videos is their music. The band performs sonically like the premarital lust-child of a slightly-evolved brokeNYCDE and The Devil Wears Prada (bad parental combo: problem #1), sacrificing harmless 80's aerobic-track synths by splicing them awkwardly with brainless, meat-headed breakdowns. Vocalist Austin Carlile possesses a scream that varies in it's sound, offering up a monotonous high scream (sounds like Mike Hranica hucking up a cocaine-addicted vampire bat) and numerous faux-growls (sounds like a badger with strep throat) which interplay miserably with guitarist Johnny Franck's clean vocals: laughably autotuned pop-melodies from a scene kid that swallowed a vocoder. Settling for brutality over technicality, the band loves a good breakdown and constantly (usually twice or three times in a song) exercise their ability to bring out the palm-muted jun-jun (click-clack), but when looking at the broader terms of things, it's better that Attack Attack! settles for the cliched chugging because their bland, uninspired riffs are even worse. In what would potentially be the only redeeming element of the band's discordant assault, Caleb Shomo's gimmicky synths manage to do the impossible and ultimately bring each and every song to previously unperceived-of lows with their campy whizzing and whirring.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the record is that, before the uproar surrounding 'Stick Sticky's music video, it was fairly well-received. Luckily, the abhorrent music video is pushing Attack Attack! closer and closer to being recognized as the execrable opprobrium to music that they are. Until the day you find yourself with an exoskeletan, stay far far away. However, when that day comes, clack your claws and scurry around your raving shorelines to the brutality and dance-synths. 'Someday Came Suddenly' is audible evidence that Attack Attack! aren't the fleas or the headlice of metalcore -- they are the crabs.