You know that sound your toilet pipes make when you use too much toilet paper? That build-up of pressure as the water starts to rise and you fret that it’ll spill out over the top and then finally with one large rumble it starts to go down and the pipes shake a little bit. This is what Attack Attack’s latest album sounds like; a big pile of shit and toilet paper backing up in a bowl, then disappearing.
A band once at the centre of internet ridicule for their crabcore ways is no doubt going to see themselves at the receiving end of more ridicule for their latest effort (I use the word effort very loosely). The guys this time around have opted to try and go for a more beefed up brutal sound, but as you’ll soon discover it fails in every way, shape and form.
The vocals first and foremost are terrible. I’ve listened to this album 3 times with an open mind and my opinion on this album has remained the same. The very fact that the album artwork looks like it is of two dicks (they’re really vein-y arms) should be more than enough warning that this album is one you should avoid, it’s like a spider with a big stripe on its back, “I’m telling you to seriously stay the fuck away”.
Do not get me started on the most uninspiring, non-meaningful, unoriginal and emotionless lyrics you will ever hear. I’ve read more original things written on public bathroom walls. The lyrics read like Caleb Shomo did a Google search for 2006 era MySpace blog posts from emotionally repressed teenagers complaining about life and made them into songs either that or Caleb is just a bad songwriter.
In every single song vocalist Caleb sounds constipated. His saliva ridden weak pirate yell desperately tries to mimic vocalists of other bands like The Devil Wears Prada, For The Fallen Dreams and Enter Shikari but falls flat on its face sounding extremely weak, annoying and heavily forced instead.
Without sounding like I have a raging hard-on for Austin Carlile, Caleb Shomo does not have the range that Austin has that is for sure. Austin could hold a scream for what felt like forever, he had power and could really command an audience with it. This band has not been the same since he left Attack Attack!, AA! was and never will be an original band, but at least Austin can scream without sounding like a baby dinosaur dying of oesophagus cancer.
The naming structure of the songs on this album really annoys me. Putting ‘the’ in-front of all of your song titles in an attempt to be more edgy isn’t exactly new (Memphis May Fire recently did it) but it does make you look like a bunch of douche-bags especially when your album sounds as bad as this does.
Production quality on this album is non-existent. It literally sounds like the guys recorded this album in a toilet, the mixing, what mixing? Everything sounds heavily compressed and over-produced. The production duties were undertaken by Caleb in his home studio and sadly although he tried, the production isn’t anywhere near what I would expect even an okay album to sound like (but I’m not an expert).
In the song ‘The Hopeless’ Caleb ironically screams the following lines that couldn’t describe everything about this album more perfectly – “Can you hear me screaming, I’ve been yelling so much that my throat is bleeding” once you listen to the rest of the album you’ll laugh at the irony because the weak screams on this album do sound like Caleb’s throat is bleeding. If that isn’t blood in Caleb’s throat, then I presume it is some kind of liquid that was shot out of the aforementioned dicks on the cover art causing him to sound the way he does.
People familiar with guitar tunings will notice that Attack Attack! sound like they’ve opted for a lower tuning no doubt because they’re so delusional that they think a lower tuning means more brutal songs. They did flirt with lower tunings on their previous self-titled but this takes it to a whole other level.
It sounds like the the guitarists of Attack Attack! have been listening to too much Periphery, A Plea For Purging and Meshuggah (borrowing riffs and structure especially). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or in this case it’s just an insult. In their quest to imitate other successful bands it even sounds like they’ve tried incorporating djent style riffing into their songs, and by the sounds of it they’ve changed to 8 string guitars (I could be wrong about that though).
What separates This Means War from the other artists that I mentioned is that this album lacks any kind of technical playing ability whatsoever, not one single guitar riff comes even close to sounding technical, probably because the guitarists of the band only know how to chug and that’s about it.
One of the most deceiving tracks on the album ‘The Motivation’ which was also the first single released from the album, starts generating a false sense of hope that you’re finally listening to a song that sounds different to the rest, but alas after the sympathetic piano finishes the typical djent riffs heard on the previous 5 tracks kick in and the song sounds more pathetic than sympathetic.
Do you like breakdowns? I hope so, because every single song and I mean every single song on this album has a breakdown. And yep you guessed it, all of the breakdowns sound the same as one another (no exaggeration) listen for yourself.
By the time you reach the end of this album you will feel relieved. You know that feeling when you really need to pee and you have to hold on for that little bit longer then you finally get to a bathroom and that feeling of euphoric relief you experience? That’s what it feels like once this album comes to a close.
Their self-titled release wasn’t the worlds greatest album, but it sure as hell was a whole lot better than this album minus the techno songs I actually liked a few of the songs on the self-titled. I have nothing personally against the guys in the band, but when you put something like this out that obviously has had little thought, time and effort put into it you have to wonder why they even bother any more and feel slightly insulted that they would think people would like and or buy this.
The only decent thing about this album is the techno, dance tracks they put on their last self-titled album are non-existent on this album. This album would have honestly been a whole lot better if they did though, now if you’ll excuse I’ve just got to rinse out my mouth with drain cleaner for saying that. And to their credit the guitar tones on this album are quite good, the guitars sound bigger and better than previous albums ever have.
I really do hope this is the last album ever released by Attack Attack!, but no doubt there will be a heap of people who will like and buy this album giving the band a false sense of hope to continue making genericore records. The year has only just begun but I am calling it now, worse album of 2012.
So there we have it a review full of toilet analogies. I do apologise about that, but when an album as bad as this graces my ears you can’t help but feel like you need to compare it to faeces. I might have been a little harsh on the guys, but this is their 3rd album and they’ve had forever to write something decent, if someone doesn’t say how bad this album really is, I doubt nobody else will.
Rating: 1 out of 10.