Review Summary: This is such a mixed bag. Most of the album is great, but the little parts of it piss me off so much, and there are so many little parts that piss me off.
This is my first review, so I'm not so sure how it's going to go but I'll do what I can.
I'd like to start off by saying I LIKE Attack Attack. Plain and simple. I just enjoy them. I know most of the community seems to hate them, but I don't. They brought me into metalcore and I just like them.
Someday Came Suddenly was a great start for AA! It made a name for them, even though the name they usually received wasn't entirely positive. But they knew they had to change since their lineup changed. Austin (lead screamer) was kicked out and their synth player, Caleb Shomo replaced him as the screamer.
Caleb does a GREAT job on this album. He's very young (17 or 18) but has such a deep scream. It's very forceful and shows the heavier and darker side of the album. I think it shows the most on Renob, Nevada or A for Andrew or even Smokahontas. Austin is one of the best screamers I've ever heard in any band ever, no doubt, but I think Caleb works perfectly for this album.
But we were told by members of the band that this album would be varied and mixed up. Which it is, but that doesn't mean that's good. I think that most of the songs on this album are good. Really good. They show that the band has evolved to a large extent. But that's not necessarily a good thing in all aspects. Songs like Shut Your Mouth and AC130 and one part of Fumbles O' Brian irritate the crap out of me because they DON'T WORK.
Shut Your Mouth should have been scraped long before they recorded it. It doesn't work on this album. At all. I know AA! likes the techno and dubstep stuff (as do I) but the song itself sucks.
AC130 was supposed to be some brutal as hell song in drop G which is crazy low. But most of the song sucks. It's not some brutal song they said it was supposed to be. The fact they included group vocals in it just removes all "brutality" from the song. The "breakdown" at the end is laughable at best. I don't even consider it a breakdown. It has so few chugs or chords, it's just lots of blank space between each chug with crappy, half assed group vocals tossed in it. And this one part in Fumbles O' Brian just makes me think I'm listening to T-Pain or The Dream with all the autotune and shawtys being tossed around.
But beyond the bad parts of the album, it's actually a REALLY solid album. The guitar work has improved a lot in this album along with the drums. Actually, as a drummer myself, I was amazed with some of the drum work on this album. Definitely a huge jump from all instruments compared to the last album.
Johnny Franck's vocals have improved immensely, especially with the loss of autotune. This album has a lot more of him singing and his voice is actually nice, although he sounds like the generic metalcore clean singer. But that's not bad or anything. There's actually a song where it's him singing the whole thing and it's a really good song.
But most of the actual songs are good. A few standout ones to me are A for Andrew, Renob, Nevada and Lonely. The good ones are all structured very well. Most have good breakdowns, variation and really don't get boring unlike the last album which was actually pretty boring and repetitive.
Little reviews of each song:
Sexual Man Chocolate - The song that probably everyone has heard. I tend to skip this song when I hear it just because I listened to it so many times. It starts off the album and shows how much they have changed. Shows off some of Johnny's singing voice and the drummers capabilities, especially when it's just Johnny and the drummer. However, it gets very repetitive very fast. 9/10
Renob, Nevada - One of the best on the album. Starts off with a breakdown and immediately goes and shows what Caleb can do when he screams, then more of Johnny singing. I really can't get tired of this song. 10/10
"I Swear I'll Change" - Nothing really wrong with this song. Lots of singing with a bit of screaming, although I'm not the biggest fan of how most of the song sounds. 8/10
Shut Your Mouth (Ft. McSwagger) - I HATE this song. I LOVE techno and dubstep but this song does NOT belong on this album. I actually just hate everything about this song. Although the beat is nice so I'll give it that. 6/10
A for Andrew - Just another one of those songs that's badass. Shows Caleb's screams off very well. Guitars are outstanding on this one on my opinion. Very well structured song that has one of my favorite parts on this whole album and out of almost all metalcore songs. 10/10
Smokahontas - Really good mix of metalcore and dubstep. A really good mix of singing and screaming. Just a really good song. No complaints about this one at all. 10/10
AC-130 - I know they wanted a brutal song on this album. But this is NOT it. Despite it being drop G, it's not very low and brutal as they wanted it to be. And the breakdown at the end makes me laugh everytime I hear it. The group vocals just make it 20 times worse. 5/10
Fumbles O' Brian - This song is so weird. It starts off with one of the band members doing a very good Lil' Wayne impression with a Hot Grills and High Tops type thing thrown in with it. It's so varied with singing and screaming along with a very sporadic chorus. The only thing that I dislike about this song is a part towards the end of the song that sounds like T-Pain with all the shawty and autotune going down. 8/10
Turbo Swag - Varied like Fumbles O' Brian. Except it doesn't have the stupid hip-hopish part that Fumbles O' Brian has. 8.5/10
Lonely (Ft. Jason Cameron) - I LOVE this song. Johnny's singing voice is jizztastic. It's such a nice change too. Very relaxing. Jason Cameron of Bury Tomorrow appears in this song and his voice is fantastic. After the song is about a minute and a half of dubstep which is actually pretty sweet. It's not just tossed in there. It's really sick actually.
And that's my take on the album. A lot of the reviews seem to criticize the "crabcore" that Attack Attack! has created. But why criticize it and bring it into a review of an album? You can't see it while listening to the music unless you see them live or watch the crappy Stick Stickly music video.
But I really want to give this a 4, but I feel too lenient if I do. This is a good album, but it's brought down by stupid things like AC130 and Shut Your Mouth that ruin it entirely.