Review Summary: With an open mind, is this really as bad as I hear a lot of people complaining?
I'm going to start this review off by saying something about Attack Attack!. I had only become a fan of theirs a year ago at the time of typing this and have never seen them live. With their announcement of the Back In Action Tour being the band's last before the break up, I'm naturally very disturbed. I can only imagine this feeling is much worse for long time fans, especially those who have followed the band since they first formed back in in 2005. Now, with 2013 being the year they end it, we have three albums (hopefully a fourth if the band release's the one they have already recorded) to remember them by. So, let's dive into the debut album by Attack Attack!, Someday Came Suddenly.
Released: November 11th, 2008
1. Hot Grills And High Tops
2. Stick Stickly (single)
3. Bro, Ashley's Here
4. Shred, White & Blue
5. Party Foul
6. What Happens If I Can't Check My Myspace When We Get There?
8. The People's Elbow (single)
9. Kickin' Wing, Animal Doctor
10. Dr. Shavargo Pt. 3 (single)
11. Catfish Soup
Andrew Whiting-Lead Guitar
The first album from Attack Attack! is a very unique listen. Mixing harsh breakdown's with techo-bits, screamed vocals and clean auto-tune. I know a lot of people would be automatically turned away by this, but once you give the entire album a listen, it's really not bad. The whole album starts off with a short intro track resembling a very hip-hop sound. This leads right inot what many will say is the best part of the album, the song Stick Stickly. this was the first single from the album and remains one of AA's most popular songs. The lyrics are very religious with lines like "this is the time to let yourself go Lord pick me off the ground". The religious theme is constant through the whole album, so for some AA may be a Christian-Metal band. While the actual member's don't view themselves as such, it's easy to see why some fans do. Going back to these first two songs, they do a very good job of getting you pumped for what's to come and then getting you up and moving. This is especially true for Stick Stickly, as it's nearly impossible to not want to mosh to this song. Or at the very least head-bang until you pass out.
This awesome opening is followed by another three songs which, while still quite mosh worthy and fun to listen to, don't measure up to the level of Stick Stickly. One of these songs (Bro, Ashley's Here) contains the line from which the album's name come's from. This song is among the best on the album, containing a good rhythm and beat, as well as lyrics which again have a slightly religious theme. Once you get to track 7 all the moshing and screaming and head-banging takes a break to make room for a techno medley. I have mixed feeling's about this. Sure, it's a nice techno song, but it clashes with the overall stance AA is trying to make with the other songs. However, it does give the keyboardist, Caleb Shomo, a chance to really show what he can do. So points to him.
After the interlude we get to my personal favorite from the album, The People's Elbow. This one takes a turn as the lyrics are more about a broken relationship and the struggle within oneself to overcome the pain. While the writing isn't exactly the best, it's done in a way which feels honest, something I feel the band did with all the songs. The final four songs follow the same pattern of being good, but lacking that special "hook" to make them really memorable. the very last of these four is a short outro track. Now this is a piano ballad. Odd? Yes. But hauntingly sweet, if lacking that hook. After the rest of the song's though, it does offer a very peaceful end to the whole barrage of sounds.
Moving onto the performance of the band members themselves, Austin has very good screaming, able to perform high's and low's in the vocal fry style with precision. The clean vocals, despite being auto-tuned, don't clash with the rest of the song's. The guitar/bass work is very metalcore-ish, with many breakdowns and riffs throughout. The only two area's which don't really shine through, except on a few song's, are the drums and keyboards. Not to say they aren't present, for they surely are, it's just you won't really notice them as much.
For what it is, Someday Came Suddenly accomplish's what Attack Attack! set out to do. Sure, not all the song's really stand out, but when the band get's something right it's quite enjoyable. Perhaps that right there sums up this entire album: quite enjoyable.