Review Summary: Attack Attack! finally produces something better then their debut.
Their first album was good, their second album was poor, how did AA's third effort turn out? Much better than the last, to say the least.
Any fan of Attack Attack! knows this was the final album with Caleb Shomo and bassist John Holgado. This is also the album which has the least amount of techo-sounds and more of a hardcore rock type vibe. So let's see just how they did!
Released: January 17th, 2012
1. The Revolution (single)
2. The Betrayal
3. The Hopeless
4. The Reality
5. The Abduction
6. The Motivation (single)
7. The Wretched (single)
8. The Family
9. The Confrontation
10. The Eradication
So starting off I'd like to further address the band's sound. You really notice the near complete lack of even the slightest bit of autotune, since Caleb has seriously increased his ability to produce clean vocals. However, providing all the clean's cause his screams to suffer. Remember how on the previous album Caleb's screams were quite good? Well, for the majority of this album he tends to stay in the high scream range, which would be fine if he didn't sound like he had a cheese grater in his throat. Strangely enough though, this isn't too bad an issue. Sure, it gets really annoying on a few of the song's, one example of this is the second track "The Betrayal", but for the most part the actual song writing goes well with his screams...I just don't expect anyone to be able to sit through the album in it's whole in one go.
Speaking of the individual tracks, this offering has the largest number of songs which stick out. A midst the three singles ("The Wretched", The Motivation", "The Revolution"), two of them severely stand out. The Motivation and The Wretched. The motivation for starting out with a very soothing, yet sorrowful piano solo, then hitting you in the face with some of the best of AA's hardcore mosh-worthy breakdowns. It's only boosted by a very nice pace and word-play. You can tell real effort went into writing this song. However, it fails in comparison to The Wretched. Fans, I swear, The Wretched is by far Attack Attack's single best song. If one were to ever listen to just a single song by them, it would have to be this one. Caleb's voice sounds it's strongest, punctuated by the incredible music talent of the rest of the band.
Speaking of which...
I want to go ahead and give a shout out to Andrew Wetzel, the drummer. For the past two albums his drumming was there, sure, but it never really stood out. Well, good thing for us he really stepped up his game. Maybe it's due to there only being four members in the band now. Or maybe it's because almost all of the electronic roots have been left behind. Who knows? All I want to say is nice work Andrew, your drumming kick ass this time around.
However, this album, while pretty good, still has that one lacking track: The Family. Is it the worst they ever wrote? Well no. But it's certainly the weakest of the whole album.
Overall, This Means War is, in some areas...ok, most areas, AA's best work. It has much better drumming, better clean vocals, and the best song of their career. Still, it isn't perfect. A few bland songs, one pretty lame song, and screams which grate the ears most of the time all take away from the experience.
Regardless, well done guys. Well done.