Attack Attack!: This Means War

This is the newest album from Ohio melodic hardcore band Attack Attack! First off let me say that if you’ve been a fan of the band before, there’s no reason to turn your back on them now. Even though everything they’ve done has been independently different from each other in their own unique ways, they all share a distinctive sound that is distinctively Attack Attack!

Right off the bat, the first thing I noticed about this record is that it got really heavy. They’ve always been on the heavier side of most of the post hardcore/melodic hardcore bands (which i guess is what makes them appealing to me), but the guitar tone on this record is a lot heavier when it really kicks in and at times has a very “djent” feel to it because it. Overall it sounds a lot thicker, which is interesting because they lost a guitar player in between albums.

The songs themselves are also very simple in structure and bouncy and when you combine those two elements together, you get a very big, a very full, and a very dirty sound. Personally, I don’t think the songs on this record are as good as the songs on the previous records, but there’s definitely more of a bouncy element to it which will translate very well into the live arena, giving more kids the opportunity to bounce around like dickheads. I also felt like the songs were  a bit more straightforward in their deliverance. Some off the songs on the self titled record had random starting and stopping points and breakdowns and other fancy elements and this record seems to be a bit too one dimensional. My guess is that maybe the one guitar player who split might have been a pretty creative writer and the band might have lost that when he left.

The other thing that grabbed my attention immediately was Caleb’s voice. It’s still Caleb’s voice, but it just sounds a lot thinner and strainy at times. He also had to take on the role of being the clean singer as well as the screamer because the guitarist who left also sang the clean vocals. Caleb’s not bad at clean vocals, but they kinda lost the pop-punk element that made the choruses of their songs sound so huge and anthemic.

I don’t want you guys to think that I’m running this record down though. It’s still a really strong record and good to play if you just want to bounce around for half an hour. The band have also experimented with some dubstep elements to add to the keyboard effects that helped to define the band’s sound on the last record (Check out the song “The Reality” for it). The pianos are great on this record too, which is good, because they played such an important role in that last record and I loved those hooks.

All in all, I think it is lacking some substance to it, but it’s not a horrible or mediocre record by any stretch of the imagination and I still think fans of the band will get into this record as well.

Luke Helker


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