Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
I had, up until today, had a couple of do not’s in place to help keep me sane. I was never going to review anything Rise Records ever released. I mean, with the exception of Bleeding Through nothing on Rise Records has been deserving of my attention. I don’t want to sit here and bash bands all day and I feel like if I start reviewing bands on Rise, that’s what will happen.
But today all that has changed. As Attack Attack’s third full-length This Means War found it’s way into my hands, I decided, why not. I have beaten and made fun of Attack Attack since they debuted their video for Stick Stickly. The song was not good and the video was a pioneering moment for crabcore. And it’s sad that local Baltimore bands have taken to crabcore and auto-tuned dancey metalcore and I have seen more Attack Attack clones at shows in the last years then should be allowed. But this is the way of the world.
So hopes for This Means War were not high. But This Means war is the first album to feature Caleb Shomo on all vocals (screamed and clean). The ridiculous song titles of the band’s previous albums are gone and there are no auto-tuned vocals on This Means War. While there are still a couple of synth heavy, dancey breakdowns, the crabcore joke (at least musically) appears to have left the band with Johnny Franck.
The problem with moving past the auto-tune, goofy song titles, disco breakdowns, and the things that made Attack Attack what they were, is they become a pretty standard screamo/metalcore band. By going with a djent guitar sound, mostly tasteful synth lines, and a change in vocal style, This Means War is just another scene album. It’s not bad and by comparison to the band’s previous two efforts, the record is really good. But in a scene where something similar is released every week, there’s nothing about This Is War that makes it stand out among the crowd.
Best record from Attack Attack to date… But their step forward is also a step into an already overcrowded room.