Review Summary: Attack Attack! is laughable at best, and now offers belly laughs with their new album.
Attack Attack is one of those bands you just can’t take seriously. Everything this band does is just laughable and easily able to be tossed away. Said to be “stepping up to new grounds”, Attack Attack sports a new screaming vocalist, as well as a brand new sound. The bands first album, “Someday Came Suddenly” (with vocalist Austin Carlile) was fun to listen to. Besides that, the entire album felt repetitive and most of all, just laughable. Many fans of the band claimed their synth driven sound to be “new and exciting”, but reaching new heights was still very far away for the band. After losing Carlile and getting Nick Barham, the band finally thought they had it together. Playing last year’s Warped Tour and non-stop touring, Attack Attack always managed to bring out tons of fans to their shows. Soon though, Nick was kicked out of the band and replaced by the synth player, Caleb Shomo.
After Caleb jumped forward to lead screaming vocals, the band announced a new record and a new sound that the band has heading for. The albums opening track ‘Sexual Man Chocolate’ was the first track off of the new self-titled album released on myspace. Right away, you can hear the drastic change the band made in-between albums. Instead of the fun and catchy sound the band went for with their first album, the band decided instead to rip off the hardcore genre and darken their sound a little bit. I have to give it up to Caleb for both his vocal and synth talent on this album. Though Austin Carlile is a great vocalist, Caleb sticks with deeper screams and delivers a little more of a tougher sound. His synth is great though, it’s not overdone in most songs and it actually does a really good job improving some of the songs.
‘Sexual Man Chocolate’ is actually one of the better songs on the album, and that’s not saying that it’s a good song. Simple guitar riffs, basic drum beats and cliché is what this band delivers. ‘Renob, Nevada’ showcases just how “tough” this band has gotten. The song opens with a breakdown, and you just know everything from there. Attack Attack was never too impressive with breakdowns, everyone seems to sound the same and they’re just repeated song to song. “No honor/No respect” is the chant you’ll hear in this song, and coming from Attack Attack, it’s laughable at best. The biggest problem with this album is that the band tries way to hard to be hardcore at times. Writing lyrics like that shows a serious lack of creativity. If you’ve heard what the band has done before, hearing a chant like that from them is just, funny. It doesn’t fit and when it comes to this band, it never will.
‘I Swear I’ll Change’ is the only real stand-out track on the album, simply because it sounds like the band really tried on this one. Singing vocalist/guitar player Johnny Franck is not a horrible singer. His biggest downfall comes with how much autotune he uses. It ruins his voice, short and sweet. With this album, he seems to be a little more monotone than anything, there is rarely a moment where his voice stands out above the rest of the music. ‘Shut Your Mouth’, to me, is a joke track. It’s a dance track created by the band simply because they ran out of idea’s and figured they’d attempt to make you dance a little bit. There is nothing to say about this song, at all. The best thing about ‘A For Andrew’ is the 5 second long whistling track that opens the song. The breakdown in this song sounds exactly like every breakdown we’ve heard on this album so far. The only thing that stood out in this song was the soft piano track in the background, pretty sad.
Another thing that Attack Attack has mastered is stupid song titles, ‘Smokahontas’ for example. The only thing about this song that works the tiniest bit is the opening breakdown, that actually got my head bobbing a bit. ‘AC-130’ is sort of like an interlude track, it’s basically a minute and 45 seconds of attempted breakdowns. ‘Fumbles O’ Brian’ features some guest vocals with a few rap artists, and is another attempt and making a fun and catchy dancy song. It’s got energy, but besides that, the song turns quickly into receptivity and brings absolutely nothing new to the album. ‘Turbo Swag’ is the second to last song on the album, and if you haven’t realized how much of a joke this band is at this point then you must not be listening to well. Johnny’s voice is completely overdosed with autotune in this song, but I found the chorus kind of catchy, the only chorus on the whole album that I find myself singing along to. ‘Lonely’ is the average, sappy album closing song. It features guest vocals from James Cameron of Bury Tomorrow, but even he can’t save this song from being easily shippable.
Towards the end of this album, I just wanted it to end. This is what happens when a band tries to hard to fit in and you will most likely lose more respect for this band after listening to their self titled release. Nobody is to be blamed, especially Caleb who has actually made an effort to make this band listenable. Here’s my advice to the band, stop trying so hard and find your sound. Attack Attack is simply a joke in the genre, and anyone who truly enjoys this band has lost all sense of good music. If you want to succeed, you must stand out, and Attack Attack has dug themselves deeper into the ground with this album.