Review Summary: 37 minutes of a joke that's no longer funny
Say what you want about Attila’s “Don’t-give-a-f*ck” attitude, but it’s clearly won them a lot of attention. Their fans love to flock to their live shows, wear their questionable merchandise and blast their music like they don’t know how to do anything else. Equally, their detractors love to take shots at them whenever they can over every part of them: their fusion of metalcore, deathcore and nu-metal, the arrogance of frontman Fronz, their deliberate abrasiveness and so on. Attila know all this of course; it’s their divisive nature that’s kept them going for so long. But on this, their sixth studio album Guilty Pleasure
, their image no longer has the same impact that it did. Instead, it becomes monotonous.
In terms of musicianship, the album is far from awful, but also far from brilliant. A couple of the riffs are hard and catchy and the guitar solos, a part of Attila’s music that has always appeared bizarre and out of place, seem more thought-out and are integrated more into the structures of the songs than on previous releases. Tracks like “Hate Me” have fun instrumentals, but the large majority of the songs still consist of the same hollow riffs and uninspiring breakdowns that are plaguing metalcore today. The drumming is competent, but nothing special and overuses blastbeats and the bass drum to the point where it can get overwhelming and incredibly annoying (see “Pizza, Sex and Trolls”).
The main focal point and unavoidable aspect of Attila’s music is singer Chris “Fronz” Fronzak. His unclean vocals don’t seem to hold up here, and his infamous rap screams also simply don’t flow very well. Much of his vocal performance seems disjointed, evidenced on the eponymous track. The lyricism is dire, focusing primarily on “f*ck the haters” and “living your own life”. But among this and the regular surplus of swear words, misogyny, homophobia and references to smoking marijuana, there’s virtually nothing here that we haven’t heard before from the band.
Therein lies the problem with Guilty Pleasure
. We’ve grown so acclimatised to Attila’s provocative nature that we’re no longer shocked by it. Instead, the album just trundles along at the same pace. There’s glimpses of Attila attempting something new; “Break My Addiction” focuses on addiction to harmful substances and “I’ve Got Your Back” surprisingly contains no swearing. But all of this is made redundant by other cuts from the album like “Dirty Dirty”, which ends with the band chanting “TITS” and Fronz saying “Got dayuumm them are some tig ol' bitties”. Attila’s whole concept feels incredibly dated.
Attila have gotten themselves a bit stuck on this album. Rather than offending the listener, they’ve just made them uninterested. There is very little replay value to be found on Guilty Pleasure
, even if you enjoy their music. If Attila want to carry on being in the public eye, they’re going to have to rethink their strategy. Otherwise, they’re just going to become another part of the stagnant heap of generic Warped Tour bands.