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Album Review: Attack Attack! - This Means War

‘This Means War’ see’s Ohio’s Attack Attack! beginning to drop their heavily gimmick laden brand of electro-pop-metalcore in favor of a more mature direction which sees them place more emphasis on riffing, rather than techno beats and dubstep inspired breakdowns. Although this more straight forward and focused direction isn’t exactly filled with positives. It has in fact left them sounding stale and predictable with an album that you could be forgiven for thinking was just one, long 36 minute track.

It seems the band didn’t want to waste a second giving the listener a clear indication of where this album is heading, with album opener ‘The Revolution’ actually beginning with a breakdown. Caleb Shomo has taken over both clean and screamed vocals, both of which sound equally strong, with the screams holding their power and grit. However the clean vocals are certainly more pop than metalcore and on many occasions feel out of place. ‘The Motivation’, with its piano backed mid section and fluttering electronics manages to transform itself into a straight forward pop track at two separate occasions before the chugs kick back in and of course it plays out with a break down.

The guitars have sauntered down to a drop G for this release, with the aim of making everything sound that much more sludgy and aggressive, however having been drenched in distortion it’s hard to distinguish one riff from the next, especially when lacking any technical ability. Yet there are moments when this band comes close to a successful maturity; ‘The Betrayal’ blends just enough electronics and a driving chorus to give this band the sense of urgency they so desperately seek. Yet they don’t seem to be able to rid themselves of their pop sensibilities, every brutal riff is met equally by a cheap hook or quiver of electric wobble. Dropping many of the issues they have suffered from in the past, and most importantly this crab-core approach to ruining any mildly promising attributes they may hold - with one swift synchronized head bang. Attack Attack! have definitely pointed themselves in the direction they want to be headed, however they haven’t quite embarked on the journey yet.


'This Means War' is out now through Rise Records.

Connor O’Brien

Alter The Press!