Release Date: Jan 17, 2012
Record label: Rise Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Hardcore, Contemporary Pop/Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Heavy Metal, Screamo, NÃ¼ Metal
On their third album, Attack Attack! strip down their sound and focus on heaviness, making This Means War their hardest hitting and most coherent record to date. The album finds them dealing with a lot of new territory at once: it's their first album without guitarist and clean vocalist Johnny Franck, and their first full-length album without Joey Sturgis at the helm in the studio. With singer and keyboardist Caleb Shomo filling in on both production and clean vocals, it would seem inevitable that the band would fall further down a synth rabbit hole, but instead it's quite the opposite.
When I listen to the teenage-friendly music of today (yes, this is me complaining about “kids today”), I’m so confused by that generation’s musical aesthetic, one almost entirely socialized and educated through a self-absorbed Web 2.0 culture. It shows in Attack Attack!’s This Means War, a deluge of whining that’s lyrically incomprehensible and becomes sonically dull after one song. The Ohio metalcore band is my flashpoint of my confusion about teenage culture du jour.
This review originally ran in AP 283. This Means War finds electro-plated-metalcore team Attack Attack! focused on maintaining six-stringed girth instead of shoehorning awkward samples into their crunchy mix. “The Family” is a headbanger support group, while “The Reality” will appeal to dudes in faded Queens Of The Stone Age shirts trying to pick up chicks at a Skrillex show.