Review Summary: Good? Sure. Creative? Not quite..
Attack Attack! began as a nauseating sextet firm on an identity of pretty much horrible everything. Premature vocals, corny synthesizers, simple guitars, invisible bass, and ho-hum drumming. This didn't improve until Austin Carlile was no longer in the picture, and even then it wasn't much different. Not much improved except possibly the intention that they maybe wanted to make a change? Well, here we are.
Enter the revamped quartet of Attack Attack! These guys have lived up to their intentions to not put out a horrible record, and do not surprise anyone by inevitably stepping into the mainstream. Caleb Shomo's higher pitched screams are new and i'm still not sure how to feel about them, but it creates a more unique identity on top of his sincere, nicely done clean singing. I never thought i'd say it, but Attack Attack!'s days of autotune and useless synth are indeed over. Guitarist Andrew Whiting, has attained the wit (no pun intended) that no longer chugging open notes over a synth track is a turn for the better. Instead, he integrates a crunchier, riffier feeling and it has made the music a lot more catchy. The bass does it's due part as well, making an effective undertone for the music and strengthening each tune. The drumming hasn't changed one bit i'm afraid. But sorry man, that's what you get for drumming in a mainstream band.
With a record like this, one would be impressed to find anything impressive. Not much stands out, but the benefit of that is they have great margin for error. Where no song prevails, none fail either. Any tracks that catch attention moreso than others are The Motivation, Betrayal, and Family. Every chorus on the record has good essence. but The Motivation is one of the best on the record. Also, the song structure itself is very nice, it's listenable and relistenable. The Betrayal is a very nice guitar track, and is a great headbanger towards the beginning of the album. The Family is nice for it's heavier feel, and leans towards ADTR's claim to fame with the "I'll stand my ground, with all my friends by my side" shpeal. However, the track itself fortunately doesn't drag anywhere else.
But where you have catchiness for each song, you have a large downside. The lyrics are horrible and the sincerity of the record is overbearing and comes off as very corny. When listening, it is advised to not take Shomo's whiny lyrics as seriously as he wants you to. The mainstream effect here is the forced difference in attitude of the music, they seem to want to be mainstream pretty badly and that fact shouldn't be so evident. They have a good start, but it'll take more than this album to make a noticeably beneficial impact to anyone that isn't already a fan.
So all in all, Attack Attack! has finally grown out of the ugly, laughable shell it was stuck in not long ago. There comes a day where one realizes, "Why did I ever wear that?" or "Why did I ever hang with that kid...?" and I think AA! has reached that point. They've bid a fond farewell to their past in effort to build and maintain a steady introduction to the mainstream. Attack Attack!'s claim to fame may just be their incessant talent for unparalleled metalcore breakdowns, or maybe Shomo's immense potential. You've surprised us now, AA! and have earned your spot on radar.
Recommended Tracks: The Betrayal, Motivation, Wretched, and Family.
- Guitars are much better.
- Vocals are catchy.
- Breakdowns are crisp.
- I could write better lyrics..
- Filler. Did I even have to say it?
- Still heavily unsurprising.